Jessie Blackwood's Reviews > Witch Child

Witch Child by Celia Rees
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's review
May 01, 11

Read in April, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I thought this book well researched and an interesting angle to take, quite plausible to hide the journal in the folds of a quilt, but I would personally have issue with it surviving that long. An individual page folded and placed in a quilt would suffer, no doubt of it. Having worked in a museum with a paper conservation department, I found that bit a little on the borderline of unbelievable. I have to say that I would be pedantic in the extreme to suggest it might never happen, though, and where this story is concerned I prefer to err on the side of maybe. I liked reading it and as such, I was able to suspend disbelief.

The book is nothing new, a story of a young girl suspected of certain powers viewed the way countless characters have viewed it in the past, but told with a sympathy and simplicity I found refreshing. I loved that she could 'see' a person's future, had no prejudice when faced with the native tribesmen and my romantic brain wrote the ending for me-that she survived and joined the tribe and 'married' the young man she met and got to know. It ended without us knowing what happened to her. She could as easily have died in the forest from exposure and hunger or attack by wild animals. But somehow I could choose to write the ending in my head that I wanted. I liked that we were left to wonder and it made it all the more right somehow.

The journalistic approach was also good, although Celia Rees used the same plot as other writers-a make believe that this was a real 17th century journal translated for a modern audience. Some people might find this a weak premise for a book like this, but I found it a good read. It certainly hasn't stopped me from trying the author's other books and I am intrigued to read the sequel, Sorceress, which deals with one of Mary's descendants. So I am set to find out if my speculation about what happened to her is true.

Ultimately it was another novel showing the fickle nature of humans and their tendencies toward mob mentality and eagerness to follow charismatic but dangerous leaders. I particularly liked the strong nature of some of the women, those who could stand up to others and defend their fellow woman from persecution with calm and reason, even when at risk themselves.

Altogether a good read, if nothing new in some regards. I look forward to reading the sequel.
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