The Heretic's Daughter (Compact Disc)
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September 2008 Indie Next List
“This is a novel of family, of mothers and daughters, and of the Salem witch trials told from such an intimate perspective you can smell the hearth and feel the cold of a New England winter. The Heretic's Daughter is enveloping and rich in historic detail and tone -- a beautifully written masterpiece.”
— Calvin Crosby, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.
Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendent of Martha Carrier. She is also a natural-born storyteller, and in her first novel, she paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution
"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."
"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."