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Hiding from the Light

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  1,480 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
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Paperback, 736 pages
Published April 7th 2003 by HarperCollins (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Aug 20, 2008 Misfit rated it it was amazing
Yes, there are ghosties and beasties and things that go bump in the night! What fun! Safe to read at home, but if I was staying at a hotel/home/building that was reputed to be haunted, I'd save this one for later. It took a good couple of hundred pages to set the scenes and the characters, but then things took off and I couldn't put the book down. In some ways I can see cutting some of those characters and still keep the main story, but I loved the whole book anyway.

Don't let the page count det
Jan 26, 2012 Artemiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Hiding from the Light by Barbara Erskine is a wonderful horror story about witches, witch hunters, ghosts, lost souls, mass hysteria, religion and people with obsession. It's the best book to read before Halloween, especially this year since the calendar days in a book are in sync with this years calendar.

As always, when I'm reading Ms Erskine books my inner Homer Simpson rises his head or rather his hands, ready to strangle somebody, especially the characters who are so silly or blind or gulli
Dec 15, 2010 Janine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern, fiction
As is Erskine's trait, she interweaves the past with the present - though not as cleverly as in previous books, in my opinion. I got frustrated with the characters and found the ending way too far-fetched. Not one of her best.
Jul 30, 2009 Linda rated it liked it
Another one from the borrow box at work...

The author depended too much on stereotypes for character building, and some of the spookiness was cheesey and overdone. However, the story was liberally sprinkled with skeptics, and everything that occurred had alternate human or natural explanations. The skeptics in the story gave it a believability that it would not have had without them.

This book gripped my imagination and wouldn't let go. I found myself thinking about the characters and events even
This is the story of Emma Dickson who gave up her career in order to live in a cottage on the Essex coast. Even if this house remembered her childhood, it's haunted by a witch who was prosecuted by Cromwell's Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins. If you like to read books about ghosts and witches as well then you should read this book.
Perfect autumn reading as the suspense and frightening nightmares of a past witch hunt escalates as Halloween approaches. Barbara Erskine really knows how to weave a spell that has you warily watching for shadows as you read!
Oct 22, 2011 Joan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jayne Catherine pinkett
Feb 15, 2017 Jayne Catherine pinkett rated it really liked it
My first Barbara Erskine read but certainly not the last. excellent plot that has you hooked despite it being a chunky book. Bit scary and spooky which I don't usually read, however it is so well woven in I still wanted to carry on reading it even though I was a bit spooked!
Sean O'Reilly
Oct 20, 2012 Sean O'Reilly rated it liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
I was given this book by a friend as part of a bunch which he thought I could take to my local OBCZ. This one caught my eye as it is set relatively locally to me and concerns Matthew Hopkins, notorious WitchFinder General, who is quite an interesting character.

Barbara Erskine does a good job of intertwining the stories of two periods, Hopkins' own lifetime and the modern day, into one gripping narrative. It was interesting to see in the Author's Note at the back of the book that she had some inp
Jan 30, 2014 Pavla rated it liked it
Nakonec to nebylo tak zlé ani černobílé, jak se to zdálo zhruba do poloviny knihy. Potom už byl příběh uvěřitelnější a zajímavější. Ten zvrat ke konci se mi líbil, taky pomstychtivá Sarah, stejně jako Bill Standing, ten byl pro mě asi nejzajímavější osobností z celé knihy, pohádkový dědeček a jeho kouzelné bytosti. I když jsem věděla od začátku, kdo s kým bude a iritovaly mě některé pasáže, bylo to dobře napsané, četlo se to jedním dechem. Iritující bylo např. když ta "přeúžasná" hlavní hrdinka ...more
Oct 08, 2013 Thumbelina-thighs rated it liked it
For once I'm not disappointed by one of Barbara's endings! While I feel the ending was rushed I did enjoy the book as a whole. Just a few issues with it- the characters did not grip me as much as those in previous books, the main character did not seem like a protagonist at all but merely a supporting character. Also I feel towards the end the characters became overly melodramatic- part of the story I'm sure but just seemed out of character for me. I enjoyed the story of the witches and the hist ...more
Jul 01, 2012 Clare rated it really liked it
All of Barbara Erskine's novels (that I've read) are ghost stories, flicking between the current time and the past. Easy, addictive reads, always strong female characters and always a bit of romance.
Ellen Mandly
May 02, 2014 Ellen Mandly rated it really liked it
This was good, better than I expected. Although its pretty long the first half flies along. If you like this genre you will really enjoy this book.
Feb 24, 2014 Claire rated it liked it
It scared the crap out of me. But it's Barbara Erskine, so I'll forgive it.
Mar 11, 2017 Annette rated it really liked it
After I was done reading this book, I closed it up and thought, "Man, she sure can write"
Mar 26, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2013
Just to make things clear, I really enjoyed this story, for the most part. The creepy factor was really up there and the atmosphere was so real that if I were reading this book in a house by myself at night, I probably would have been jumping at any sound. The witch storyline was interesting and the author described the small English village, and its citizens, very well. I felt like I was there witnessing the carnage that came later. really annoys me when an author doesn't have the chara
Melissa Eisenmeier
Jul 20, 2013 Melissa Eisenmeier rated it it was amazing
$3.77 at the Parkville Bookworm, hardback

I loved this book!
Ghosts, witches, and goblins, oh my.
Well, Hiding From the Light, by Great Britain's Barbara Erskine, doesn't actually goblins, but it does have ghosts and witches.
Set in Essex, England, circa 1996, the book revolves around Emma, a 30-something Londoner who moves to the countryside after she sees an ad for a house and has to have it, and Mike, the town's priest.
Shortly after moving into her new house, Emma starts having nightmares about
Apr 03, 2013 Dark-Draco rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, paranormal
A small parish in Essex has always known it's dark history, of Hopkins, the witchfinder general, and his obsession with finding and hanging the witches he saw all around him. But as Halloween approaches and dark mists roll in from the sea, the people find that history is closer than they think. For Emma Dickson, all she wanted was to move to the country and start her herb business in the old cottage she is strangely drawn too. Wiccan practitioner Lyndsey, doesn't want her there, nor the TV crew ...more
Well this was pretty much as expected as it sticks (quite rigidly!) to the formula tried & tested in previous books. This was slightly more believable (?!) than some of the other books & focuses on ghosts, witches & wicca with a real person, Matthew Hopkins, at its centre but in parts you just have to accept whats going on & not take it seriously. While overall I enjoyed the book, I did find myself skimming one or two passages & having read other books there were no surprises ...more
Laura Hutton
Jan 24, 2016 Laura Hutton rated it really liked it
Fantastic story that draws on both history and fantasy. Erskine has a way of creating such an electric atmosphere, and Hiding from the Light is one of the scariest books I have ever read.

However, I regret I cannot give it five stars as the book sells one of the main characters as a Wiccan. At first this is all well and good and I felt the portrayal was true in regards to the religion, but as the character progresses she can be described only as a complete nutcase. Unfortunately this seems to be
May 02, 2011 Theresa rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a very readable book and, despite its size, I found myself getting through it quite quickly once I decided to prioritise it amongst the many books I read at the same time! However, I found it did not quite live up to what I expected. I was expecting a spooky book about witches and, whilst this was there, I felt it could have been done better. I say this because I have read similar books in the past on the same themes that I have enjoyed more. I would have loved for more to have been mad ...more
Feb 05, 2009 Suesan rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed
Very well written book. Gets you hooked in an instant with various interesting characters and some unexpected scenes.

Strange things are happening over in Mistley and Manningtree by a strange evil mist and only one person knows how to take care of it. Emma is attracted to leave London for the country by Liza's a former witch's cottage. Mike the new vicar is having trouble with his layreader Judith, who wants to take care of the parish herself. They are all drawn in by the places' history of a wit
Rebecca tedder
May 12, 2014 Rebecca tedder rated it it was amazing
Not normally a fan of historic books, but being a Colchester girl, growing up around this area, I couldn't resist a witchy chiller.

Lovely storytelling, good strong characters, exciting twists and a handful of historical facts about the Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins, this book for me was a winner!

As a fan of these sorts of books at the best of times, parts of this book still surprised me which is ALWAYS a good thing when you read a few ghostly/haunting/possession type tales.

Certainly a goo
Linda Wallis
Jan 31, 2015 Linda Wallis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an early novel that I hadn't read but acquired a copy from my local charity shop.
Another excellent read....good mix of characters.
Some unpleasant & seriously insane....
Interesting reading this after having seen The Crucible last year.Amazing what the power of superstition & mass hysteria can do.
I think that her writing has definitely got better but this shows that her books have always been page turners.
Kay Horlock
Jun 18, 2014 Kay Horlock rated it it was amazing
Because this book is based locally to me I very much looked forward to reading it and it didn't disappoint. Much of what was written was based on fact and then the author filled in with her story line. The reader is left in no doubt about Mathew Hopkins evil persecution of women perceived as witches,and his hatred toward the opposite sex. As with the authors other books,the best/worst thing you can do is read this just before bedtime!
May 30, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
At first, I was afraid to start reading this book. Ghost stories can really spook me out. But im so glad I gave this book a chance.
Great storyline, not too predictable, with some excellent suspense and yet no sleepless nights (or nightmares). Thank goodness!
I like to think this book seems to evolve into the author's idea of what a modern-day witch hunt would be like.
All in all, it was a fun and quick read!
Angela Buckley
Jul 27, 2015 Angela Buckley rated it it was amazing
I hadn't read any of Barbara Erskine's work before I picked up this title at a book sale - I couldn't resist the description of witches on the back! I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a compelling and fascinating read. I loved the combination of dark 17th century witch hunts with a modern-day life in the country twist. Although the plot became increasingly fantastical, it was nevertheless highly enjoyable and satisfying - a great summer read!
Sharon Reeves
Aug 27, 2013 Sharon Reeves rated it liked it
I do love all of Barbara Erskine's books, and I liked reading this one, but it is not my favourite. The reason I say that, is because of the witchcraft element. Its just not one of favourite topics....I love spooky, ghostly stuff, but am just not into witchcraft. That aside the story is well written, and true to form, with Barbara Erskine's pure talent for having you feel as if you are actually there!!
Susan Corcoran
Feb 03, 2016 Susan Corcoran rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of this author having been introduced to her books by my mother who is a huge fan.
I do enjoy her writing, but can find her stories a bit too similar in the way they are structured.
But I did enjoy this story, especially as I have a friend who lives in the area and so I'm familiar with the area.
I gave it a four star rating, because although all her books have a similar feel to them, they are always well written.
P.J. Roscoe
Nov 26, 2012 P.J. Roscoe rated it liked it
I liked the story, it kept my attention throughout. As always, Barbara's ability to create such believable characters is brilliant. I was intrigued by this story because I have always despised Mathew Hopkins for what he did to those women - maybe there's a witch in me too! Reading this story only made me despise him even more!!! It reinforced my thoughts, that he truly was an evil man - so well done for making me 'feel' such passion!!!
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The Book Clubs at...: Hiding from the Light, by Barbara Erskine 1 2 Aug 20, 2014 04:11PM  
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An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of six bestselling novels that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural, plus two collections of short stories. Her books have appeared in at least twenty different languages. She lives with her family in an ancient manor house near Colchester, and in a cottage near Hay-on-Wye.
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