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 blacksmith’s son, Grace is pregnant. Fearing the shame will bring down on her family, she pleads to Nell for help in getting rid of the baby. But Nell refuses, suspecting that the unborn might be a Merrybegot like herself.
Suddenly Grace and her younger sister Patience are both shrieking, having fits, and blathering. The minister is beside himself. Grace claims that the Devil has taken over Nell, and that’s who is causing her to feel so ill. Accused of being a witch, Nell finds her life in danger. Everything she does can be used against her. Will her life end at the gallows like the many other accused in nearby towns, or will being a child sacred to nature save her life in the end?
This book is great. The characters feel real and the suspense is in every chapter and never lets up, except for the ending which I felt was too easily wrapped up. Nevertheless, this a great book for anyone who enjoys fantasy, historical fiction, or paranormal stories.