Author(s): Celia Rees
Witch Child is both astounding and brilliant. It is written in the form of a journal, kept by a fourteen-year-old girl in the 1650s and hidden for centuries in a quilt, until finally falling loose when the quilt is being cleaned.
Mary sees her grandmother, the woman who brought her up, executed as a witch and she knows that the healing skills and abilities that saw her grandmother condemned may well be her own undoing. So Mary runs away and joins a group of pilgrims travelling to the New World. When she eventually arrives in Massachusetts, Mary discovers that old superstitions die hard and soon she, like her grandmother, is the victim of ignorance and stupidity, and once more finds herself having to make important choices to ensure her survival.
With a vividly evoked setting and characters skilfully and patiently drawn, this is a powerful literary achievement that is utterly engrossing from start to finish.