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The Heretic's Daughter

(Carrier #2)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  33,214 ratings  ·  3,980 reviews
Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superst ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 332 pages
Published September 3rd 2008 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2008)
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Laurel I PERSONALLY didn't think the beginning was that slow...but I'm definitely in the minority. read through the reviews; almost everyone agrees with you.…moreI PERSONALLY didn't think the beginning was that slow...but I'm definitely in the minority. read through the reviews; almost everyone agrees with you. BUT almost everybody thought it was a real page turner after the first 120 or so pages. Stick with it; it's really exciting.(less)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  33,214 ratings  ·  3,980 reviews

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Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody interested in the Salem Witch Trials
Recommended to Jaidee by: a sweet friend !!
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 " illuminating, tragic, intricate" stars !!!

7th Favorite Read of 2016 (tie)

I am amazed that this is a first novel. The book is a very fine specimen of very fine historical fiction.
Not only that but the author is a tenth generation descendant of this family from 1690s Massachusetts during the height of the Salem Witch Trials.

The novel is from the perspective of Sarah Carrier, a ten year old girl, who experiences the difficulties and challenges of this historical period in New England. This
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
. . . for where there are women, there are witches.

In 1692, jealous relatives, some pissed off neighbors, and a disgruntled former employee united to accuse an entire family of witchcraft. Since it was the good old days of guilty until proven innocent, they were tossed into a literal dungeon to rot.

Forget zombies, ghosts, and vampires . . . other people are the true monsters here.

A scary, scary cautionary tale about the abuse of power, and the dangers of a theocracy.

Let's not let this happe
As God in heaven knows, changing a name cannot change the history of a place.

Nothing can change the history of Salem, Massachusetts, so the inhabitants have embraced it. They have built a memorial to the innocents who died there, they have made a kind of tourist industry of it, but the reality of what transpired stills the heart when truly contemplated.

...on that exact hour, a four-year-old girl, Dorcas Good, was examined by those judges in Salem Town jail. Her little feet and hands were bo
Oct 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sending it to Chris
I won this here at GOODREADS!

While it seemed slow in the beginning, boring even, it was just that very thing that made this book very powerful in it's representation of the events surrounding The Salem Witch Trials.
The first half of the book was a day-to-day in the life a 9 year old girl, Sarah Carrier of Andover, giving me a feel for life in 17th Century New England.
When the book gets to the accusations, the fear is palpable. As events spiral out of control, the novel sheds a light in the darkn
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A compelling historic drama about one of the darkest chapter's in America's history-the Salem witch trials.
Told through the eyes of Sarah Cartier, who as an intelligent and curious child finds her life turned into a nightmare when her mother Martha, a herbalist and healer is accused of of witchcraft. Her entire family is hounded, humiliated and and starved before being sent to a hellish prison.
A richly atmospheric novel of insane and cruel hysteria driven by cruel and malevolent preachers.
Told t
"Hyssop for cough. Rosemary for fever. A sprig of mint to cleanse ill humors from the mouth. Slippery elm for the midwife. Horse chestnut for stiffness of limb. Golden bough for palsy. But what is the cure for rage? And what of the tortures of a guilty mind? A seeping wound can be bound. Salve can be dabbed to a burn or a swelling bubo. Poison can be drawn with a leech, or a lance. But guilt is a ghost that takes the shape of the body it inhabits and consumes all that is tender within its she ...more
Jeanette (Now on StoryGraph)
An outstanding first novel. Kathleen Kent is a direct descendant of Martha Carrier, the novel's heroine who was hanged in 1692 at the height of the Salem witch trials. Kent spent five years researching and writing this novel of her heritage, and the result is exceptional. The prose is solid and smooth, and the portrayal of late-17th century New England is rich with fascinating details of life in that era.

The story is told through the eyes of Martha's daughter Sarah Carrier, who is aged ten at th
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
When I was manning a booth for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America at the Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association conference, I picked up an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of this book that was published in September. I just finished it and I highly recommend it! The book is beautifully written, powerful, and gives you a clear, emotion-filled picture through the eyes of a girl living in late 1600's Andover, Massachusetts (near Salem), of what life was like b ...more
Aug 07, 2008 rated it liked it
This historically accurate story allows the reader to be immersed into the Carrier family's Puritan life in Massachusetts and the Salem Witch Trials. It is a hauntingly written tale and definitely made me angry, uncomfortable, and just plain sad.

Kathleen Kent is a descendant of Martha Carrier, who was hung for witchcraft in 1692. The story is told from the perspective of Martha's daughter as she looks back on her life and tries to come to terms with her familial relationships and the events tha
MK Brunskill-Cowen
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The Salem Witch trials has always fascinated me, so perhaps I am biased, but I loved ....loved.... loved this book. Sarah Carrier is an interesting narrator since she sees the proceedings as a child might, but with a teen's relationship with her unusual mother. I was amazed by how readily the people of Salem were to believe the tales of witchcraft as the net ever expanded wider and wider. How many women were left untouched in the Salem area?? Is this another allegory for our times - how readily ...more
Nov 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
" A needle is such a small, brittle thing. It is easily broken. It can hold but one fragile thread. But if the needle is sharp, it can pierce the coarsest cloth. Ply the needle in and out of a canvas and with a great length of thread one can make a sail to move a ship across the ocean. In such a way can a sharp gossipy tongue, with the thinnest thread of rumor, stitch together a story to flap in the breeze. Hoist that story upon the pillar of superstitious belief and a whole town can be pulled a ...more
Sep 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am going to say right off the bat that had this been written from Martha Carrier's perspective I think I would have liked this book more. Instead it was written through her daughter's eyes and because of that you only know what her daughter knows. Which isn't much considering she's under 13 for much of the book and living in the 1600's for God's sake where kids weren't privy to the adult information. This book was for me the life of a young girl on a farm in the 1600's with a bit of "Salem Wit ...more
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book spent a lot of time getting to the point, when it finally did I felt "the point" was a good one, but some of the details it focused on were random and not needed; where as there were other details that could have been useful; but were left to the readers imagination. ...more
Maria Headley
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. A new perspective on the Salem Witch Trials from the point of view of a daughter of the accused. The author, Kathleen Kent is descended from Martha Carrier, one of 19 people hung as witches during the Salem trials. Carrier never confessed. This book is a beautiful historical fiction reimagining of what might've led a woman who was subjected to torture, imprisonment and eventually hanging, to stand so absolutely firm. It's also a fantastic mother-daughter narrative, having to d ...more
Charlene Intriago
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2013
This is an excellent historical fiction about the Salem witch trials. It is told through the eyes of the daughter of Martha Carrier (convicted and hung) and written by a descendent who grew up listening to the stories. I liked the manner in which it was written (I believe it would be the language of that time) and could feel what it was like to be falsely accused and imprisoned. What an awful place and time, especially for the children! It's easy to see what ignorance, religious beliefs, and hys ...more
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Was so excited to read this and I felt so blah at the end. Just didn't do it for me. ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars.

- 1632 Salem trials
- Exquisite writing/solid prose
- Eccentric mother/daughter relationship
Craig Monson
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Salem witch trials remain among the most familiar of the dark, unhappy chapters in American history, having provoked a reasonably constant trickle of fictional and non-fictional accounts. Indeed, “Witch Hunt!” has lately become one of the more widely used and abused rallying cries in certain corners of the twitterverse and other venues of public media. In 2016, Pulitzer Prize winner, Stacey Schiff revisited the sad history in her meticulous and exhaustively detailed non-fiction history, The ...more
Cindy Newton
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
It was very good. I'm evaluating it as a companion piece for The Crucible, and it dovetails nicely. The only problem is that it is a pretty slow start. The real action doesn't start until the middle of the book. After that, it gives a pretty riveting account of the conditions during the Salem witch trials. An added point of interest is that the author is a descendent of Martha Carrier, who was actually hanged as a witch and is the mother of the main character in the book. ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
This book swept me up in the world that Sarah lived in. I just can't imagine. A group of young girls have the power to have people killed. The thing is I know unfortunately how bitter women can be. ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Having heard about but not knowing much about the Salem Witch trials, I was mesmerized by Kathleen Kent's personalized account in THE HERETIC'S DAUGHTER, as seen through the eyes of a family member of whom Ms Kent herself is a direct descendant.

Sarah is the daughter of Martha Carrier and an enigmatic father with a mysterious past, her life in rural Andover, near Salem, depicted with unflinching realism and gorgeous prose. These are people who live on the edge of nature's whim, suffering brutal w
Oct 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
As a direct descendant of Martha Carrier, when I saw some great reviews of this fictionalized account of her family's ordeal in the witch trials, I felt I simply had to read it.

The author has beautifully woven together family history/legend and the facts of the witch trials. She has created a fascinating account of the politics, religion, and conditions of Puritan Massachusetts during this hysteria that, however horrifying, is very believable.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love historical fiction, and especially when about the Witch Trials of the 1690's. This was an absolutely wonderful book about the burning times. Told by young Sarah Carrier, this book traces her life and how her family is affected and torn apart by the witchcraft hysteria in her small Massachusetts town. I absolutely loved it. ...more
Nov 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
If you enjoy reading about the Salem Witch trials, this one is for you.

I found it to be a sad book, but a good sad book.

It's just hard to stomach that a handful of teenage girls could ruin so many people...
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, historical, own
As a modern-day Pagan, with roots in modern Wicca, I was incredibly excited to finally find this title used, for cheap (hey, I was unemployed for a long time). I had been wanting to read it for quite some time, as I have read a fuckload about the Salem Witch Trials, and love to visit the place. To read a fictional account of real people who were part of the fiasco sounded awesome enough. Add to that that Kathleen Kent is directly related to Martha Carrier? Sounded like a gold mine to me.

Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have read books and seen plays about the Salem Witch Trials but this book by Kathleen Kent was able to introduce new ideas and thoughts on this sordid subject. A descendant of Martha Carrier, one of the women tried and convicted of being a witch in Salem, Massachusetts, Kent thoroughly researched the trials as background for her book. This historical novel based on this true event was the result. It is certainly worth reading.

With the Witch Trials as the backdrop, the story centers on Sarah Ca
Tracey Anderson
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing!
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having been shocked and fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials since learning about them in school, I couldn’t wait to read this book. The author is a descendent of Martha Carrier, one of the first women to hang as a witch, despite the fact that she maintained her innocence until the end. Telling the story through a child’s eyes, the daughter of Martha Carrier, was brilliant. Nine year old Sarah learns about the harsh world and unfair accusations and tries to make sense of it all, landing in priso ...more
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hf
Another novel about the Salem Witch Trials, but what makes it unique in Kathleen Kent's debut is her connection to one of the true life characters: Martha Carrier who was hanged as a witch in 1692. She was Kent's 9-great grandmother and had heard stories about her and other ancestors as a child. The story unfolds through the eyes of Martha's daughter Sarah and thus not only weaves a well-known story in our history but also demonstrates the impact on families and the hardship of life in colonial ...more
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The subject of the witch trials in Early New England have long held my interest. The author being a direct descendant of Martha Carrier offered a unique perspective. The story is told through the eyes of Martha's daughter Sarah as a woman in her seventies.
Writing to her grand-daughter, she tells her story in retrospect.Her story covers a relative short period of time. The whispered suspicions fanned into a wildfire by young girls, the torture and deaths of innocent m
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Play Book Tag: The Heretic's Daughter. 4 Stars 2 14 Apr 07, 2016 08:04AM  

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Kathleen Kent’s fifth book titled The Burn, sequel to the Edgar-nominated The Dime, is a contemporary crime novel set in Dallas. Kirkus gave The Burn a starred review, and The Washington Post writes, “Raymond Chandler praised Dashiell Hammett for taking crime fiction out of the drawing room and into the streets. With Betty Rhyzyk, Kathleen Kent brings those mean streets to life as excitingly as an ...more

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Ciannon Smart has been holed up in her England home since the pandemic began a year ago, but by no means has she been idle. She’s been on...
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“Life is not what you have or what you can keep. It is what you can bear to lose.” 47 likes
“There is no death in remembrance. Remember me, Sarah. Remember me, and a part of me will always be with you." - Martha Carrier to her daughter, Sarah Carrier” 35 likes
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