The Minister's Daughter
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The Minister's Daughter

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  1,623 ratings  ·  198 reviews
“Powers of the air, be here now. So mote it be.”

Conceived on May Morning, Nell is claimed by the piskies and faeries as a merrybegot, one of their own. She is a wild child: herb gatherer and healer, spell-weaver and midwife . . . and, some say, a witch.

Grace is everything Nell is not. She is the Puritan minister’s daughter: beautiful and refined, innocent and sweet-natured...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Lizzie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angie
Interesting look at the 17th century witch trials in England. The book does a good job of showing how hysteria can grow and mob mentality can make otherwise sane people turn against those they have known their entire lives. Nell and her grandmother have served and protected the community their entire lives and at the first sign of trouble they are turned upon.

Hearn does a good job of weaving historical persons and events into the storyline - Charles II and Matthew Hopkins the witch hunter. The E...more
Sally
Phew, good stuff! I do so enjoy Julie Hearn - it's funny though that this was the first book of hers I ever bought, yet much the last to be read. The size (large hardcover) and plain cover (lack of dustjacket) did possibly have something to do with that; I tend to be a bit of a snob when it comes to books' looks.

(view spoiler)...more
Erica - Bonner Springs Library
This book is another young adult novel that I'd seen at the library. The description of it really intriqued me. It's about two girls in England in the mid-1600s, one who is a "healer" and the other is a minister’s daughter who accuses the "healer" girl of being a witch. It was a really fascinating book and I had a hard time putting it down when I first started reading.

It also sparked my interest once again about the Salem Witch Trials, I was so fascinated by them when I was in junior high and h...more
Jamie
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Steph Su
The novel is enthralling and enchanting, hard to put down once you start. In the English country in the seventeenth century, Nell lives with her wisewoman grandmother, the town herbalist, midwife, and spellbringer. Nell is a Merrybegot, a child sacred to nature, born on May Morning. She likes to frolic and hates restraint, which the new minister has brought down upon the town.

The minister’s eldest daughter, Grace Madden, is a beautiful, proud, conniving girl. After a secret affair with the black...more
Aquila
Jan 21, 2012 Aquila rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like historical fiction... yeah.
We read this in English class, and I wanted to hate it, but I loved it. The writing style was good, but looking back, it was quite... un-advanced. But whatever. I guess I've got into more YA books, and this is probably for 11-12 year olds. But more mature 11-12 year olds, what with the frolicking and stuff. Still, the book was good, and the chapters alternated between POV's, which was in interesting change to a lot of books out there. Patience's POV was kind of sensitive, almost childish and pre...more
Sarah
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book, but it was really good. It's set in the early 1600s, and it follows two girls: Nell, the Merrybegot child (conceived on May Morning) and granddaughter of the cunning woman (midwife, herb lady, etc), and Grace, the daughter of the minister. Grace finds herself with child after frolicking in the woods with the butcher's son, who refuses to stand by her. She goes to the cunning woman for something to take care of it, but she is not there. Nell ref...more
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
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Alan
I read this book after reading The Heretics Daughter, an Historical Novel based on the Salem Witch Trials. I loved how this book based, mostly, in Old England intertwined people of Puritan beliefs, along with people who, while they go to church on Sunday, still dance around the Maypole and refer to baby's about to be born as "pot lids" so the piskies don't steal the newborn baby away. I also liked the fact that these piskies and fairy's do exists and play an important role in the book. Finally I...more
Amanda Lawson
Jun 17, 2014 Amanda Lawson is currently reading it
Amanda Lawson
Ms. Robinson
Book Review : The Ministers Daughter
Do you like when books surprise you? Do mysteries interest you? If this interest you then reading this book would be a good suit for you. In this 1645 England fiction story, the main character; Grace takes on many challenges. Nell the village " cunning woman" granddaughter spent every waking moment learning the healer's trade. As she learned these trades she hope that in the future she'd take her grandmothers place. Nell independent c...more
Alyssa
My feelings in sum: Meeehhhhhh.

I just didn't feel anything for any of these characters, aside from the rare sympathy for Nell (but really, she basically condemned herself by not using her brains and some caution, so). The timeline felt forced and slow. There were a lot of characters and though I logically know their stories were connected, their story lines didn't interweave as much as I wanted, and in fact often felt like they were competing. It went on about 70 pages longer than I expected (an...more
Brittney Johnson
This is the story of Nell who lives with her grandmother, the local cunning woman and healer, in a west country village in the seventeenth century. When one of the minister's daughters falls pregnant, she and her sister attempt to conceal it by accusing Nell of putting a curse on them. The witchfinder general, Matthew Hopkins, is called in and in an atmosphere of fear, the local villagers turn nasty and Nell's grandmother falls victim to their hatred. Nell is all alone, and in great danger.

Julie...more
Jeni
This book ticked so many of the boxes I look for when choosing a book. It was an historical story with witches and magic thrown into the mix and NO love triangles, in fact no real romance at all. Despite all that promise I just didn't enjoy this book's tale.

Flipping between confessions in 1692 and events from 1645 I found it hard to feel drawn to the events been told in the story. This is very much personal preference and I also have issues with books that change POVs. I craved more magic or mor...more
travelmel
This was a GREAT book. I give it 4.75 stars. I will do a review of it another time as my daughter is reading it now and I want to talk with her about it and then will do my review.

There were great themes to discuss in a book club or scholastic setting, IMO.
James
Really enmjoyed this, wasnt sure i was going to at the beginning, but the stsory soon kicked in with lots of really interesting features and characters - and then i was totally hooked!
Lonna Pierce
The audio version of this tale of piskies,(Pixies?)fairies, and Puritans, reveals suspected witchcraft and wrong assumptions about midwives & "cunning women," or natural healers. In 17th century England, it turns out that the least Christian folk are the minister and his daughter, Grace. Nell, a merry-begot (conceived on Midsummer Day, and blessed by nature,)is about to lose her life for practicing healing as her granny taught her. An historical fiction novel with magical lyricism, Julie Hea...more
Elizabeth
As I have already mentioned my interest in witches and wizards, it is only appropriate that I relate my very strong interest in the real historical "witches" of America - The Salem Witches. I love reading all kinds of material on the Salem Witch Trial: non-fiction, fiction, articles, plays, etc. The Minister's Daughter (though it is placed in seventeenth century England)does not disappoint. It is more of a fiction that actually historically and factually based. It adds a bit of fantasy to the eq...more
Trish
Dec 11, 2009 Trish added it
"The Minister's Daughter" is another story of how the Salem Witch Trials happened.
It's about a teenage girl Nell who lives in a village and is learning how to be a midwife/healer from her grandmother who is the “cunning woman" in the village (that’s what the people call her)
Her grandma has helped the people in the village and the Faries/creatures in the village for a long time but now she’s old and kinda losing her mind and Nell has to help her and will soon take over for her.
Nell meets this gi...more
Logan
First impressions: The book introduces us to two different perspectives from the start: one is the young Nell, granddaughter to a local healer, in 1645 England; the other is Patience, younger sister to Grace, daughter of the town minister, who writes her own account of the events from 1692 Salem. I liked this alternating style, which added a level of deception and spite to the unfolding accusations of witchcraft.

I was also immediately taken with the voices of the girl Nell and the woman Patienc...more
Anne Broyles
This was an excellent audio read and as usual, it is hard to separate a tremendous actress' vocal interpretation of the two main characters from the words Julie Hearne actually wrote. I felt so drawn to 17th-century England, a time when Puritanism battled "the old ways." Protagonist Nell has learned healing and spells from her grandmother, the "cunning woman" for a small village. She is a sweet soul who does no harm, but in her refusal to help Grace, one of the village minister's daughters abort...more
Jen McConnel
Nell is a Merrybegot: a child conceived on May Day. Children like her are sacred to nature, and it's true that Nell leads a charmed life for a time. But then a new Puritan minister comes to town, bringing fire, brimstone, and two sneaky daughters. When Nell refuses to help the oldest daughter, Grace, rid herself of an unwanted child, Grace decides to get even. She and her sister stage demonstrations of possession, whipping the town and their father into a righteous frenzy. A Witch Hunter is call...more
Kiara
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Michael
Review from Badelynge
It is Spring 1645 and the first English Civil War is drawing to its inevitable close. King Charles I holds onto his freedom by a thread with his loyalist supporters holding only small pockets of the Midlands & North Wales with his son (Charles II to be) hiding out in the West Country (Cornwall). Matthew Hopkins, self-styled Witch-finder General plies his lucrative and deadly business stirring the countryside to find and nail any suspected of using the Dark Arts. Against...more
Danielle
Jul 06, 2008 Danielle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of History with a touch of Dark Fantasy
Recommended to Danielle by: Leigha
This book was good...

And unfortunately I don't really know where to go from there. I liked the cover which is the main reason I read it. Truthfully I had no idea what it was about so I was hesitant to begin it. Once I did though the story progressed quickly and I was engrossed.

The Minister's Daughter is about a three girls: Nell, Grace, and Patience. Each shares their own secret and a common bond. Nell is a merrybegot, meaning she's a child sacred to nature. Both Grace and Patience are the min...more
Judy King
What does the 1645 puritan minister of an English village surrounded by piskies and fairies do when his eldest daughter's May frolicking with the blacksmith's son (who left unexpectedly for the army) leaves her with a bloating problem in the stomach region? He calls in the witch finder and goes after the midwife and cunning healer's granddaughter who obviously has placed a spell of the devil on the innocent girl.

I'm a fan of historical fiction -- and I suppose that this could almost fall into t...more
Tim Roast
What did people do before they had TVs? The answer is they went witch hunting. This book is set at "the height of the witch craze in England" in the 1640s. The main character is Nell and she becomes the innocent victim of one of these witch hunts, on the verge of being hanged at one point.

The story is in two parts interlinking parts. That of Nell, and the confession of Patience Madden, one of the village minister's daughters. Together they form the story of what happened.

The minister is "a right...more
Jennifer
Oct 02, 2007 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens and up
Shelves: audiobooks, teen
I saw this book in a London bookstore a few years ago, under the title "The Merrybegot" (I find it curious that the title changed in the U.S...it puts a very different slant on the story). The cover alone sold the book to me, and when I started listening to it, I was immediately drawn to the plot - a malicious Puritan preacher's daughter becomes pregnant and seeks out an available scapegoat - Nell, the Cunning Woman's granddaughter.

Historical fiction. I love it.

But as the story unfolds, Nell is...more
Ally
This is one of those books that I bought YEARS ago at a second hand store. You know the type. Where there's a sign that says "5 books for $1" and you grab whatever looks halfway interesting, in the hope that you will eventually get around to reading it. I didn't for a few years. And I am REALLY mad at myself, because this book is an absolute treasure. In the first place, the witch trials have always been of particular interest to me. In the second place, as I believe I have mentioned, I love the...more
Kristen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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