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Hour of the Witch

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  245 ratings  ·  148 reviews
A young Puritan woman--faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul--plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive historical thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.

Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she migh
Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: May 4th 2021 by Doubleday Books (first published April 20th 2021)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  245 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is stunning, thought provoking and intense! A book keeps you on your toes, fists are clenched, your heart rates are skyrocketing, tension is building higher, you get more agitated at each moment to know what’s gonna come next!

This is truly twisty, disturbing ride and not for everyone!

Let’s take a closer look to understand the intense, dark, claustrophobic premise of this story:
It takes place in Boston, 1662. Young, innocent, beautiful Mary, only 24, taking eyes of people with her porce

3.5 Stars

Mary Deerfield, along with her parents, left England and travelled across the sea for a life in America, in hopes for a new land and new life which held much promise. For her father, he felt the religious call of the New World, and the chance for him to further build his established trade company. At the age of 24 Mary became the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, whose verbal, and physical, attacks have made her cautious, but not meek. Thomas is prone to drinking in excess, and taking ou
Oct 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
A well-written work of historical fiction (although I wouldn't go as far as calling it a thriller), Hour of the Witch is engaging and deals with a topic that still reverberates with meaning. Chris Bohjalian takes us to Boston in the 1660s and delving into the perilous difficulties - often fatal - of being a woman, a nonconformist, an outsider, a progressive, or a person with an open mind in a Puritanical society, and without a heavy hand lets the reader make inferences and connections to cur ...more
I read this book entirely way too fast, but isn't that a sign of a good book? Before I begin with my review, I want to note that I've only read The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian and I didn't love it. That being said, I LOVED the HBO Max show The Flight Attendant and can only imagine that the book is even better. I would say that Bohjalian's upcoming Hour of the Witch is a more straightforward literary fiction, rather than a twisty thriller that you've come to expect by this author. That i ...more
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
The year is 1662 in Boston. Mary, a beautiful young woman is married to Thomas who is almost twice her age. He is cruel and abuses her both physically and emotionally when he is drunk - which is almost every day. When he sticks a three pronged fork into her hand, she decides that she needs to divorce him. But gossip is an ugly thing and greatly affects the way a person is viewed in a community. Mary soon finds that many people are suspicious that she is a witch working together with the devil. A ...more
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘We separated and came here to this wilderness, and so far we have shown only that we are as flawed and mortal here as we were across the ocean. There is no act of horror or violence of which man is not capable.’

Bohjalian’s historical fiction novels have become a favorite of mine and he has created another well written novel with The Hour of the Witch. The dialogue took a bit of time to get used to, but once I found its rhythm I was hooked. Mary was such an easy character to sympathize with. Sh
Adam Turteltaub
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Chris Bohjalian never fails to write novels that hold you from start to finish. And in this book he does so in a time long gone, but with issues that we still find today.

So glad to have another great read from Chris, especially at this time when we can also use an escape from our day to day.
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a book by this author before and now I feel I’ll need to go back and start some. I have always been fascinated with America in the 1600s, especially in regards to witchcraft. This book did not disappoint, it is beautifully written and produces an interesting cast of characters who are all flawed. Their stories weave seamlessly and the book was hard to put down. Mary is well written, well rounded character who one like enjoy reading more about. I’d like to thank edelweiss and th ...more
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Chris Bohjalian wrote one of my favorite books of all times, Midwives, so I was beyond excited to receive an advanced copy of his newest book to read. Hour of the Witch is everything I’ve come to know and love about his books.
Chris writes female characters so well and Mary Deerfield is no exception. The story takes place in Boston, 1662 at a time when witch hunting is constant and your neighbors are always looking for the sign of the devil in you. Mary is the second, young wife of Thomas Deerfi
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mary Deerfield is a young wife living in Boston during the height of women being accused of witchcraft is cities like Salem and Hartford. While Mary seeks a divorce from her abusive husband, her neighbors and friends begin to think she a witch.

I couldn't get enough of this book! Bohjalian obviously did a great deal of research to make this historically accurate from the details of the trials to manor of speech. While I don't love reading Early Modern English, it made the story feel more authenti
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me an advanced copy for my unbiased review.
Chris Bohjalian brings it again!!! I was worried I wouldn't be able to get into this one because of the old fashioned dialogue, but that definitely was not the case here! I really related to the main character, and I'm 100% sure they would've tried to burn me had I lived back then. And who knew forks were ever controversial? Fascinating, fast-paced historical fiction at its best.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel!

As you all know, I am a huge fan of the movie THE VVITCH, in which a Puritan family falls upon tragedy after tragedy because of a potential witch and decides to blame their innocent teenage daughter Thomasin for the sin of being a teenage girl. While I love how that whole thing shakes out, for many women during this time period, an accusation of witchcraft meant you were probably going to die at the hands of the community around
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for an advanced copy of this page turner of a new novel by Chris Bohjalian. Set in 1662 Boston, Hour of the Witch is definitely a page turner, but do not go into it expecting it to be a thriller like The Flight Attendant. Instead we have a novel that follows a wife named Mary Deerfield who struggles to figure out what actions to take to rid herself of her abusive marriage.

Leaving a dangerous husband is hard enough in present time, and in 1662 Mary face
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian. Thanks to @doubledaybooks @netgalley and @thisisedelweiss for the e-Arc ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Boston, 1662: Mary Deerfield has been blessed by the Lord with her station in life, which is why few believe her when she tries to divorce her husband for cruelty. As the divorce trial proceeds, witnesses begin to wonder if Mary is involved with the devil and witchcraft.

I’ve read a few witch trial books and this may be my favorite. There’s a lot that leads up to it, so it’s no
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my free ARC ebook of Hour of the Witch. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Chris Bohjalian's latest novel -- no surprise, since he is among my favorite authors. Hour of the Witch is set in seventeenth century Boston, and tells the story of a young wife, cruelly treated by her husband, as she seeks escape from this sadistic man. Bohjalian ably recreates the atmosphere of religiosity and self-righteousness of this early Pilgrim society, and the belief system ...more
Donna Hines
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
One of the best historical, mystery, fiction books that I've read in a long time has just arrived and it's here with a vengeance.
Chris Bohjalian is the master of this mystery decked out from the Puritan style theme with a thriller surrounding our Puritan ladies Mary Sangford and the servant Catherine Stileman who are unique in their own right.
We begin with Mary who seeks out of a loveless and harmful marriage from Thomas whose abusive as well as a drunk.
Mary is considered during these troubling
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian is an excellent historical fiction that takes place in Puritan territory, Boston 1660s. This book os fascinating and I loved every minute of it.

We get to see young Mary who is smarter and stronger then females were “allowed to be” during a time when women were supposed to be subservient, silent, and honoring thy husbands, the “masters of their domain”. Mary tries, but her horrific older husband is on his second wife, he is two-faced, a drunk, and beats Mary o
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars
Fantastic novel about an intelligent, beautiful young woman named Mary, who during Puritan times (17th century) in Boston is abused by her husband and ultimately accused of being a witch. I've never read a book that took place during this period of time and found this story to be absolutely gripping. It's not a thriller in the usual sense, although there IS a wonderful twist. I must mention that the ending is just superb. So far Chris Bohjalian has not disappointed with his novels! I real
Nov 21, 2020 rated it liked it
When I seen this book I was excited because not much is really written about this time period.
However; I was quickly disappointed.
Too many discriptive scenes that did not need to be described that accurately. I gave this book 3 stars for the too descriptive scenes
There were a few historical details otherwise that I enjoyed and I imagined that I "met" them and got a "feel" for the way they lived.
I feel that this book just wasn't for me. I will still recommend this book to others.
My thanks for
Susan Cordeiro
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love Chris Bohjalian's books and this one was no exception.
Readers of historical fiction this book is for you!
It's the story of a woman who wants to divorce her abusive husband at a time when that just wasn't done.
She is of course accused of witchcraft and the story develops from there.
Bohjalians books never disappoint, I've read them all and will continue to read this amazing author. Always great character development and interesting plots.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for granting m
Amanda St
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book: Mary Deerfield is a wonderful protagonist stuck in the wrong time: 1600s Boston.
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Who knew forks were so controversial????? This is a solid work of historical fiction set in 17th century Boston. The book illuminates the oppression of women; mistrust of the unknown and different; and misuse of religion as a means of control that were prevalent at that time and place. I enjoyed the trial transcripts that preceded each section and the element of mystery that prevailed until the final chapters. The love at first sight and ensuing romance aspects seemed a bit far fetched for that ...more
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
A very compelling story taking place in Boston during the 1660s. Truly a witch hunt from several perspectives. Having recently read Alice Hoffman’s newest on the same topic, I was concerned this wouldn’t interest me. However the writing encouraged me to want to know how it ends. So I read as fast as I could to find out. I really enjoyed the format, at the beginning of each chapter is a quote from the court case. I also enjoyed the language, such as “prithee”. Not the fault of the author, but I d ...more
Apr 06, 2021 rated it did not like it
Thee will find this long and trying. Thou would be best served reading anything else.
Julie Howard
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Chris Bohjalian has written a thought-provoking story about a young woman in puritanical Boston. Mary Deerfield, 24, has been married to an increasingly abusive Thomas for five years. When he stabs her hand with a three-pronged fork - the 'devil's tines' - that she dared bring into their home, she sues for divorce. In this time of accusations of witchcraft, Mary gets caught up in a world where women must stay in their place and assigned role in society.
Mary is a wonderfully complex character and
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking, very thought provoking.
1662 in Boston young Mary is 24 and beautiful! Back in the old world she would have had her choice of a suitor but in the new world she is forced to be the second wife to Thomas Deerfield. This is a major scumbag who is a dangerous and abusive man!
Now, Mary really wants to end this marriage but she had to do it in the right way because she is already suspected of being a witch so when she tries to divorce him she is put on trial for her life!
During thi
Jo Dervan
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hour of the Witch review
Mary came to Boston from England with her parents in the early 1600s.Her father was a prosperous importer of goods from Europe and the Caribbean. However when it was time for Mary to marry, her parents decided that Thomas, an older widower who’s owned a large mill, would be a good choice.
Mary soon found herself trapped in a loveless marriage to an alcoholic who abused her mentally and physically. Then one night Thomas used a 3 pronged fork, a relatively new invention, to
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This novel takes place in Boston in the 1600's; Mary is in her 20's and in a marriage with an abusive man who is a prominent figure in their community. Because of his constant abusive behavior, Mary tries to divorce him (which was almost unheard of at the time). As her divorce proceedings begin, whispers of witch behavior begin to circulate about Mary. The more she tries to free herself from her husband, the more trouble she gets into and the more she fears facing a witch trial.

Chris Bohjalian i
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Telling a tale of a woman wronged in a time when women had no rights and were controlled by the looming threat of witchcraft accusations, we see what happens when a woman tries to challenge that system. The research is evident, the setting is well built and historically accurate. The tale has just the right amount of twists and turns (you are not really ever surprised, but you sure do want to see what happens next) and the characters are well written and developed. In an era when poorly executed ...more
Nancy L
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hour of the Witch takes place in Puritan Boston in the 1660's. Mary Deerfield is a young, very pious wife who has been unable to get pregnant by her physically and verbally abusive older husband. When he spears her hand with a fork, otherwise known as the Devil's tines, she decides she has had enough and with her parents help she tries to divorce her husband. The divorce is a very public display and it becomes more of an indictment of her than of her husband. The fact that she is barren becomes ...more
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Chris Bohjalian is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 21 books. His work has been translated into 35 languages and three times become movies.

His forthcoming novel, "Hour of the Witch," arrives on May 4, 2021. It's a novel of historical suspense set in 1662 Boston, a tale of the first divorce in North America for domestic violence -- and a subsequent witch trial.

His most recent novel, “The

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