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The Minister's Daughter

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  2,039 Ratings  ·  227 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
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Oct 28, 2008 Lizzie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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)
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
Steph Su
Apr 21, 2009 Steph Su rated it really liked it
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
Oct 05, 2008 Jamie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I'm not a huge fan of the cover, nor do I hate it. It's just. . . .there. Neither offending nor delighting.

Characters: Nell is spunky and smart and doesn't put up with any sort of nonsense. Not from the people she cares about, her patients, or anyone who means her ill in the village. She was awesome. Grace was conniving, horrid girl; very easy to dislike. But I will give her props for one thing (though her later actions negated my very brief moment of sympathy): she didn'
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
Jun 26, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
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 ...more
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 30, 2009 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 24, 2013 Kaitlyn rated it it was ok
First time I read this I said once was enough. But I read it again a year and a half later. I was right. Once was enough. I regret reading this book when I could have spent time on a book I enjoyed. This book is weird and abnormal. Thinking back on it however it seems to have a good story but in reality it doesn't. I walked away from that book with one quote that I took and made into my own "the heart is the kindness within. When all without are beyond reason and love." I do often think of that ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Storyheart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, magical-reads
This is the kind of YA novel that makes an adult regret ever having grown up: full of nature and mystery, piskies and faeries, magic and longing and a feisty heroine to serve as role model. If I were 12 instead of sedately middle-aged, I'd rate this story ten stars and give it a dozen hearts to boot.

The audio version was lusciously narrated by Sian Thomas, Rowena Cooper.
Stephanie A.
Set in the 17th century and focusing on the conflict between Puritan religion and village healers being taken for witches, this is the first in a long line of fantastically engaging Julie Hearn historical novels. She makes any setting come alive with driving plot action and an absorbing protagonist.
Nov 01, 2009 travelmel rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 02, 2013 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Megan Shuster
Feb 02, 2016 Megan Shuster rated it really liked it
I don't usually like books dated back in time like this one, but I liked this one exceptionally.
Nov 28, 2016 Abby rated it liked it
Barely understood it really
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Roast
Nov 18, 2013 Tim Roast rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nell is a Merrybegot, a special person conceived on May Day. She has been raised by her grandmother, and taught the old ways to use herbs and other natural remedies to treat and heal. Patience and Grace are the daughters of the new strict minister. Their father has made new decrees about the behavior of his new parish, and few dare to step out of line.

When Grace ends up pregnant with a Merrybegot of her own, she approaches Nell for help. Nell, understanding the special nature of this unborn chi
Dec 31, 2014 Gary rated it really liked it
Set in West England in 1645 during the English Civil War. Nell the granddaughter of a healer, is a merry begot, a child conceived on Beltane's Day in May. she learns the art of healing from her grandmother, frolics in the wilds and communes with the fairies and pixies.

Grace Madden, the daughter of dour and fanatical puritan minister accuses Nell of witchcraft, and frame her pretending to be possessed, and making up lies of Nell having cursed her. in order to hide her own indiscretion and is aide
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
Mar 28, 2012 Ally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
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
May 29, 2008 Kim rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young fans of historical fiction
The Minister's Daughter is a YA historical novel that will be well appreciated by those who enjoyed Karen Cushman's The Midwife's Apprentice and Matilda Bone. Nell is a merrybegot, a child conceived on May Day whom the piskies and faeries consider one of their own. The granddaughter of the local cunning woman (a healer and midwife), she is also her apprentice, with knowledge and powers her neighbors alternately fear and respect. Grace is the minister's eldest daughter, beautiful but with dark s ...more
Jul 06, 2008 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jen McConnel
Jul 29, 2012 Jen McConnel rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Jeni rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 22, 2008 Debbie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers intrigued by witch trials
The story is told from two perspectives: third-person, present tense narration describes events in England in 1645 and first-person past tense narration through Patience's eyes. In 1645, England is fighting a civil war and the Puritans amuse themselves by torturing and killing witches. Patience's story, told in a courtroom in 1692, give us another view of the truth.

Nell is the granddaughter of the local healer. Granny is starting to lose touch with reality and Nell tries to learn as much as she
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