by: Chris Bohjalian
Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary’s hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life. But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary–a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony–soon finds herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary’s garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows. A twisting, tightly plotted thriller from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying novel of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.
Helen says: 🤓🤓🤓
Prithee, thou may find this book boring. Written in Puritan English style, I really wanted to like this novel, but was annoyed by the language and dullness of the story. The first half was slow. It picked up, but not until the dead end of the book. I will never look at a fork the same way again – the devil’s tines – you have to read this book to know what I am talking about!
Holly says: 🤓🤓🤓1/4
A good witch story, but not particularly original. I love Chris Bohjalian’s stories and writing – this one is good, but not one of my favorites. Some truly despicable characters (i.e., Mary’s husband) can be found in these pages – as you might imagine during the witch hunts of the 1600’s. Did you read The Witch of Blackbird Pond as a child (LOVED it!)? Similar stories. Good historical fiction about our country’s original witch hunt – a terrifying and twisted time,