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Hiding from the Light Paperback – Feb 19 2009

5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harper (Feb. 19 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007288638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007288632
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,615,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
I have been a fan of this author ever since I read her wonderful bestselling book, "Lady of Hay". So, I looked forward to reading this, her latest book, which has supernatural portents and characters from another place and time.

In this book, the mid-seventeenth century and the present converge. Ghosts from the time of Oliver Cromwell, when Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, unjustly persecuted women in some rural communities in North Essex for being witches, are stirring. With Halloween on the horizon, it is only a matter of time before they make their presence felt.

Emma Dickinson, a high-powered business executive finds herself inexorably drawn to a quaint cottage in a rural community in North Essex, where, as a child, she had spent some time. Leaving behind her lover and significant other, she buys her dream cottage, which long ago belonged to a herbalist named Liza who met her end at the hands of the Witchfinder General. When Emma moves into the cottage, she begins having a series of nightmares of a past that she cannot bear to remember.

Unbeknownst to her, Mike Sinclair, the handsome new rector of her parish, likewise finds himself consumed by images of the past. A voice in his head interjects concepts and feelings that are alien to Mike. He is at a loss to explain what is happening and does not know that he is barreling towards a climax that will be decisive in determining whether the forces of evil or good will prevail.

The author, a master storyteller, weaves a tale that is engaging, but the quality of the writing, however, is uneven, and some of the characters are not fully-fleshed. Moreover, the book could have benefited from some better editing. Nonetheless, while the book falls somewhat short of the standards that this author herself has set, it is still a moderately entertaining book that fans of the author will, in some measure, enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
Hiding From the Light is the first book of Erskine's that I have read and it may very well be the last. The description on the back of the book sounded interesting so I was looking forward to it, but it disappointed. The characters are one dimensional and none of them are particularly evoking of sympathy. Instead of proving any sort of point that people should be accepted for being different (a bit PC, I grant), this novel instead fulfills all the fears of that people have toward Wiccans. While I understand that Erskine was trying to display history repeating itself in modern day witch scares, the characters respond to each other with maddening foolishness and it seems to take forever to get anywhere with the story. The fact that the author displays women as totally stupid and weak willed (Emma, Paula) or foolhardy and blinded by self righteousness (Lyndsey, Sarah, Judith) and all in need of saving by religious men (Mike, Bill) left a bad taste in my mouth to say the least. That both Sarah and Liz (in addition to Lyndsey in modern day) betray their own ideals in order to avenge themselves on men simply confirmed the fears they were unjustly accused of originally! Other characters are introduced but have no bearing to the story, so I am not sure why they are there at all (Emma's mom and stepdad, friend Flora, even ex-lover Piers, really) And if a writer is going to fill 540 pages, at least have something more interesting happen than Emma whining about her lost love (who it sounds like she is much better off without), please. Some romance, real scares, and believable characters would have helped.
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Format: Hardcover
... and possession and witches if you read this book.
I've been a huge Barbara Erskine fan since reading Lady of Hay. Unfortunately this book (at least the regular-size type edition) has not been released for sale in the United States yet. Fortunately I was able to order it through
This is a long, virtual door-stopper size book - at just over 540 pages, this hardcover is a hefty read. Though there were a few spots where it did lag a tiny bit, the plot was well done and the action continued to move at a brisk pace keeping my interest through the entire book.
Emma Dickson is a successful business woman living in London with her fiancé Piers. During a visit to her dentist, she leafs through a magazine and sees a cottage for sale on the Essex coast. It's a house she remembers from her childhood summers in the country. She immediately senses that she must buy the house. Piers wants nothing to do with it. He loves their life in London and flatly refuses to even look at the cottage. Emma goes out to the country herself, falls immediately in love with the house, and puts in an offer for it. She buys it against the wishes of her fiancé, quits her job, and leaves Piers behind in the city. ...the excitement is just about to begin for Emma.
The cottage Emma bought is haunted, as is the local shop, by long-dead spirits who were once in a heated battle - one was a witch (the ghost in Emma's cottage) prosecuted by the Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins (the ghost in the local shop). The spirits of these people begin a war against each other using the living players in the tiny village, pitting one against the other. Slowly a tide of evil builds in the town. Senseless crimes are committed. Life in the village is thrown out of balance.
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