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The Heretic's Daughter: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company; Unabridged edition (Oct. 12 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600248233
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600248238
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 3.8 x 14.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A family's conflict becomes a battle for life and death in this gripping and original first novel based on family history from a descendant of a condemned Salem witch. After a bout of smallpox, 10-year-old Sarah Carrier resumes life with her mother on their family farm in Andover, Mass., dimly aware of a festering dispute between her mother, Martha, and her uncle about the plot of land where they live. The fight takes on a terrifying dimension when reports of supernatural activity in nearby Salem give way to mass hysteria, and Sarah's uncle is the first person to point the finger at Martha. Soon, neighbors struggling to eke out a living and a former indentured servant step forward to name Martha as the source of their woes. Sarah is forced to shoulder an even heavier burden as her mother and brothers are taken to prison to face a jury of young women who claim to have felt their bewitching presence. Sarah's front-row view of the trials and the mayhem that sweeps the close-knit community provides a fresh, bracing and unconventional take on a much-covered episode. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"The panic and horror of the Salem witch trials in Kent's novel is conveyed with dead-eyed calm and an occasional tremor of emotion by Mare Winningham.... Her melodiousness is pleasing to the ear.... At times, the melody overwhelms the meaning, but Winningham is more than capable as a reader, and her reading of Kent's sad tale f women accused and accusing emits a hit of deeply buried, untouchable tragedy."—Publishers Weekly

"Powerful descriptions of 9-year-old Sarah's time in prison are depicted well by the fear, anger, and repulsion Winningham projects into her reading. Author Kent, a tenth-generation descendent of Martha Carrier, who was hanged as a witch in 1692, has an accurate vision for time and place, equaled by Winningham's narration."—AudioFile

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Nov. 3 2008
Format: Hardcover
I just turned the last page.... Wow.... What a really, really good book!

The Heretic's Daughter is a novel of the Salem Witch Trials. We have all heard of them, but Kathleen Kent has more than heard of them. She is a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier, who was hanged for a witch in Salem in 1692. Stories of Martha have been passed down through her mother's family for generations. Kent has taken fact and blended it with fictional license to tell the story of Martha, her husband Thomas and their five children.

The book opens with Martha's daughter Sarah writing a letter to her granddaughter in 1752, finally revealing the secret she has guarded for sixty years. From this letter, we go back and relive Sarah's past.

I'm not going to go into much more plot detail. Kathleen Kent spent five years researching and writing this book. Her attention to detail and descriptions of people, events and attitudes bring this terrible time in history alive on the page. I was moved by the love and fortitude of this family - I was crying my eyes out at the end.

This was such a powerful debut novel. I can't wait to read her second.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 11 2011
Format: Paperback
Never has a book given me so many strong emotions as this one. It's amazing how mass hysteria can produce such irrational, mind baffling ideas that make the impossible become reality. I just couldn't believe they could get away with accusing these innocent people (even children) with the most ridiculous charges. I could actually feel myself get angry at such injustices. Especially towards Sarah and her mother. It made me want to go in there and give everybody a good slap and wake up call. Nevertheless, I thought the book was a good read. A book that stirs such emotions is definitely worth a read. There was a point in the book (the trial part) where it literally made my blood boil and I had to set it down a couple of times, to me, that just means the book was good. Really good.

The characters in the book were very well written. I loved the relationship between Sarah and her mother. Although strained, and even cold, it's a lot like the mother-daughter relationships today. When Sarah comes to terms with her mother, it's sad and quite possibly filled with regrets but it changes Sarah from a naive young girl to a mature one, who now sees the world in a very different way. I also thought her relationship with her father was interesting as well and it's an eye opener when she realizes that her parents are loving and caring even if they don't display it openly. I really did like reading this through Sarah's point of view. It's amazing and I really enjoyed her character development. I also liked Martha (Sarah's mother) as well. She was so strong willed and strong minded, she was an extremely admirable woman and her actions while in jail were extremely brave.

This book also got me to hate certain characters far more than usual.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Douglas on July 5 2011
Format: Paperback
I wondered if I would even like reading a book about the topic of the Salem Witch Trials but did so on the recommendation of my daughter.
I read it in one day and found that I could hardly put the book down. At the beginning it took a bit for me to get into it but once into it I really enjoyed the read.

The book was educational regarding the Salem Witch Trials. I had honestly thought that people in Salem had been burnt at the stake,they openly professed to worship Satan and called themselves witches.

I was all wrong and knew very little.

It is an extremely well written book and I loved how the author wrote it from the perspective of 9 year old Sarah.

I was amazed to hear the stories of that time period and the hardships that people had to go through just trying to survive. I guess reading so many hardships made it more meaningful to me on how difficult of a time period in our history it was for families to survive.

Not that you can compare this time period to the Holocaust but it definately has many overlaps regarding how some powerful people can place fear amoung the people, take over so much control and kill so many innocent people.
Control to choose who will be classified as a witch and hung and who will survive this terrible time period. This story is not just about the adults that were hung and imprisioned but also about the young children imprisioned in horricfic conditions.

Take time to read this unforgettable book and educate yourself so hopefully nothing like this will ever happen again.
How many times have we said this in history?
Too many!
It is up to us to make a difference!

Sharon.
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By Mys M on July 17 2014
Format: Paperback
The Heretic's Daughter is the story of the Carrier family of Massachusetts during the early 1690s when men as well as women were accused, tortured, imprisoned, and hanged for practicing witchcraft. It was religious persecution of the worst imaginable kind and a travesty of justice. Kent did exhaustive research but combined this with the oral stories handed down within her family, for she is a 10th generation descendent from that same Martha Carrier who was hanged on August 19th, 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. The story is told by her daughter, Sarah, in the form of a journal passed to her own granddaughter, Lydia Wakefield, in 1735. It is Sarah's 71st birthday and, fearing her time is running out, she sends Lydia her personal recollections of her childhood -- of the small pox epidemic, the family and neighbour entanglements and estrangements, Indian raids, kidnappings, and massacres, and the infamous witch trials of Salem -- that Lydia may understand and forgive the part that she, Sarah, played in her own mother's death.

The story begins with the Carriers, Thomas & Martha and their children Richard, Andrew, Tom, Sarah, and Hannah, traveling to Andover where Martha's mother has a farm they will work. Their hopes of leaving smallpox behind them in Billerica are soon dashed when Tom becomes ill and their household is given a Bill of Isolation. Despite the quarantine, Sarah and her baby sister are bundled into the cart in the dead of night and delivered to their aunt and uncle in Billerica.
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