26 January 2018

A Discovering Diamond review of Catching A Witch by Heidi Eljarbo

Amazon UK £2.99 £15.36
AMAZON US $2.99 $19.99 
AMAZON CA $25.35

Witchcraft / Family Drama

Most readers of historical fiction (and history) are aware of the famous witch trials that took place in England and America, what delighted me for this tale was the setting of Norway – a familiar theme set in a very different location.

Based on the factual events of history when these horrific and tragic witch hunts were subjecting ordinary people (mostly women) to events that make me shudder to think of, this novel depicts those dreadful times with humanity, skill and empathy, recreating what it was like to be a woman several hundred years ago – and accused of being a witch.

Each chapter tells of a different person from the small village, with the main narrator being Clara, the daughter of a pastor, now deceased. Her friend, Bess, knows the uses of herbs and remedies… and then the witch hunter arrives…

I did find the opening introduction a little slow, but perseverance is worth it, for once that is passed and the story proper begins, the characters come alive. Within the chapters there are surprises and shocks, heartfelt moments of joy or deep sadness, mixed in with scenes where it was almost too painful to read on because of the inevitable superstition and bigotry of the people (mostly men) involved.

A pleasure to read something a little different to the usual Salem/Pendle Witches theme.

© Mary Chapple

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  1. This book looks sooo good, but I think I'd find it too painful. I'll share it to my page, though.

  2. The great thing about historical fiction writers, they expose their readers to so many different settings and ages. I especially am glad Heidi Eljarbo exposes US readers to Norway - now that some of us "non-native borns" may need to contemplate emigrating there!

    But seriously, the research for those misguided witch trials heaping as yet another horror on the populace must have at times been distressing albeit utterly fascinating.


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