Krista Stevens's Reviews > The Betrayal of Maggie Blair

The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird
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's review
Jul 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction-ya-adult, young-adult
Read in July, 2011

So much of history is unknown to most of us - for example, although I was certainly aware of women being accused of witchcraft (because they knew healing herbs, or were unmarried/widowed and somebody else wanted their land) in the 17th century, I had never heard about The Killing Times in Scotland. English king, Charles II, felt threatened when the Presbyterian church came into being after rejecting the state's Catholicsm, and he saw their spirit of independence as rebellion. He tried to control them by choosing their bishops. A group called Covenanters, promised to remain true to their understanding of the Bible and refused to follow the King's religious laws. They were summarily imprisoned, fined and sometimes executed.

Maggie, our young protagonist, barely escapes being hung as a witch and she flees. But she's a bonnie lass, with a good and true heart, and brave. Okay, maybe some of this was a little unrealistic - a little hard to believe she and Tam were so conveniently invited into the worst prison of the world so she could try and save her uncle. Then again, Jay and I were talking about the need for a new lawn mower and on the way to the park today, he saw one just sitting by the road with a sign on it that said Free. It works beautifully! So whom am I to judge on the bizarre coincidences in life.

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