Cover of The Heretic's Daughter: A NovelThe Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent is another in a long line of belated book reviews. (Does Hallmark have a card for that yet?) Unfortunately, I don't remember much about it, and I didn't like it much, but I'll do my best to answer the questions that people asked me.
Guatami Tripathy said, "I loved The Heretic's Daughter. Why did you pick it up? Which portion of it you liked most? And which was painful to read?" Well, first of all, I'm sorry I didn't like the book as much as you did. I know it can be hard when someone doesn't like a book that you do. I guess I picked it up because I had been hearing a lot of good buzz about it, and, generally speaking, I am interested in the whole Salem witch trial thing. The portion I liked the most was the last part of the book that talked about what it was like in the prisons. I found this to be more interesting than the rest of the book. It's harder to define a portion that was painful to read. I guess it depends on your definition of painful. For me, the first half of the book was painful in an I-don't-know-if-I'll-ever-get-through-this kind of way, but emotionally, I think the parts about the trials themselves were the most painful simply because they were so clearly a big, giant, steaming pile of you know what! Those were extremely frustrating to read about. It's so hard to believe that people actually believed the things that they did and were willing to kill someone simply because she had a wart or could swim or, *gasp* had a wart AND could swim!
Softdrink said, "I loved The Heretic's Daughter, but had to put it down for awhile. How does this compare to other historical fiction novels you've read in evoking a sense of time and place?" Again, sorry for not liking this book. I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but I think it did pretty well in evoking time and place, but the language kept getting in the way for me. I felt like the author was trying too hard to be all ye olde time-y. Otherwise, I think I was able to envision everything pretty easily. I mean, during the courtrooms, I was imagining what I think a Salem witch trial would look like and not something from Ally McBeal, so I guess that's good, right?
The main reason I didn't like this book was because I felt like the author spent too much time giving us background info on our supposed witch, and I just didn't care; it didn't seem relevant to me. I didn't feel like there was any build up of story, it just sort of seemed like all these examples of why people didn't like her, and even then it wasn't anything worthy of note in my mind. And maybe that was the point-this woman was just a woman, not unlike many others, she wasn't popular for various reasons, and that's really all it took for her downfall. So, while I can appreciate this book for its historical significance, I was still bored until everyone got thrown into prison. Sorry. =(
Have you reviewed this book? Let me know, and I'll add a link to your review.