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The Witch's Daughter: A Novel

The Witch's Daughter: A Novel

Scris de Paula Brackston

Povestit de Marisa Calin


The Witch's Daughter: A Novel

Scris de Paula Brackston

Povestit de Marisa Calin

evaluări:
4/5 (73 evaluări)
Lungime:
13 hours
Lansat:
Dec 18, 2012
ISBN:
9781427232816
Format:
Carte audio

Descriere

My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is 384 years. Each new settlement asks for a new journal, and so this Book of Shadows begins...

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn't know she had and making her immortal. She couldn't have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life for herself, tending her garden and selling herbs and oils at the local farmers' market. But her solitude abruptly ends when a teenage girl called Tegan starts hanging around. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth begins teaching Tegan the ways of the Hedge Witch, in the process awakening memories—and demons—long thought forgotten.

Part historical romance, part modern fantasy, The Witch's Daughter is a fresh, compelling take on the magical, yet dangerous world of Witches. Readers will long remember the fiercely independent heroine who survives plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality to remain true to herself, and protect the protégé she comes to love.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Lansat:
Dec 18, 2012
ISBN:
9781427232816
Format:
Carte audio


Despre autor

PAULA BRACKSTON is the New York Times bestselling author of The Witch's Daughter and The Little Shop of Found Things, among others. Paula lives with her family in the historical border city of Hereford in the beautiful Wye valley. When not at her desk in her writing room, she enjoys long walks with the dog in a sublime landscape filled with the imprints of past lives and ancient times.

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  • (5/5)
    Lovely tale of love and relationships. I have an interest in all things magical so it was right up my street. Beautiful narration and good interweaving of stories and timelines
  • (5/5)
    Great book. If you are into witch stories this is a must. Love how the author builds into the history and brings it back to current. Very detailed.
  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Okay, but too stereotypical for my taste. A classic good/evil -story and much focus on a symbolical toxic masculinity corrupted by power. The chapters, as either days in the Book Of Shadows of the witch are mixed with stories of her history told to her young apprentice. It almost works. Good things in the story are how it tells of various eras in history. Sadly I though found it too "in you face" with all demonlike creatures added in to overly stereotypical imagery of warlocks and witches, and therefore judgy and boring in that aspect. Had to struggle trough, and used the 30s forwards-button at times.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    The Witches Daughter—I enjoyed this book! Elizabeth, Bess, Eliza, Elise, all one woman’s life as a witch spanning centuries. The book gives us a history lesson in three distinct historical periods as Bess moves through life as a healer, sought after by many, but chased after by one evil force. Does she prevail in the end? You must read to find out!!! Did I love that book cover?—I sure did—wish I could walk in a pair of shoes like that!
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed this book and finished it in two days. It is the story of an immortal witch, born in 17th century England, and living peacefully in a village not far from her birthplace in the 21st century. The idea is intriguing. How does someone cope with immortality, the loss of loved ones, and aging five years for every hundred lived. Unfortunately, the author only touches on these topics. And herein, for me, is the nagging problem of the novel. She wrote one novel and I wanted another. My problem, not hers.It seems that Brackston wanted to write historical fiction. The most powerful parts of the novel, and by far the longest, are Bess's just living in the four periods of time covered by the novel: the present, 17th century England, London during the Ripper months, Passandale and World War One. The WWI section is particularly evocative with graphic and heart-breaking pictures of the men dying in the trenches, the futility of the battle orders, the terrible hospital conditions, the utter hopelessness. When Bess starts to use her magic, it is a jolt. What is fantasy doing in this setting? The same can be said, to a lesser degree in the section dealing with the bubonic plague and witch hunts of the 17th century and the squalid London streets and the lives of prostitutes in 1885. There is a reason for so little magical use. Bess began her magical journey as a healer, a witch who used her powers to save lives. The necessity to escape the witch hunts puts her in the power of Gideon Masters, a powerful black arts sorcerer. It is from him she receives immortality (did she know this when she began her studies? The author doesn't tell us or I missed it). When she sees him in the final ceremony fornicating with demons. she flees and he pursues her through time, following any magical trail she might leave in her wake. This is the given reason why she uses magic sparingly, to evade Gideon. She becomes a doctor, a nurse, a seller of soaps, oils, and candles moving on before anyone can question her agelessness or before Gideon can capture her.The novel is well-structured. Bess responds to a teenager who may have a healing gift. As she nurtures the lonely girl, Bess finds her own longing for companionship easing. She tells Tegan part of her history but has to resort to disneyesque parlor tricks to finally persuade the girl that magic is real. (Really! In a novel where magic is portrayed as either totally evil or a powerful healing force, the sudden appearance of dancing fairies, cute white mice, and self-pouring iced tea pitchers is really disconcerting.) One interesting aspect is Bess's mentor/pursuer. Gideon is evil. He relishes pain, suffering, is in his element on a battlefield where men are horribly mangled and dying. He is also very handsome, can be charming, and is certainly sexually alluring. The author does not change him in the novel. He suddenly doesn't begin to show empathy, doesn't start turning toward the Light. He stays bad, even if he says he loves Bess and they belong together for eternity. No redemption, no becoming a good guy for love of a good woman. Bess hates and fears him. Good for her! And good for the author for not pulling the switch and making her villain a dark hero. At least in this book.
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed this book and to say it was a big book as in so many chapters and pages I read it quite quickly.I thoughrouly enjoyed the characters and the story line was very well written I never had to guess what was going on.I look foward to reading another book by this author.This book made me very interested in white magic herbs healing and so forth.I would recommend this book to anyone who ejoys to be intrigued,The story spans over many generations and it is nice to see the diffrences in all the diffrent societies the main character goes through all the while running and hidoing from an evil deranged lover from the past who wants her by his side and stopsw at nothing to tract her down his discises are amoungs the well hidden story plots ande scenes which makes the story all the more suspensful.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Ehhhhhhhh. This took me much longer to get through than it should have - I mean, witches, time changes, the plague, SATAN? All things that should have been exciting but somehow just could not keep me interested. It was a chore to finish, but finish I did. 3 stars, it wasn't horrible, but it is very apparent that the author grew as a writer from this book to The Winter Witch.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    In the spring of 1628 young Bess Hawkesmith learns that decisions made in desperation carry consequences that last a life-time, even if that means forever. The plague has taken the lives of her father, bother and sister. When Bess falls ill her mother does the only thing she can to save her daughter. She turns to the warlock Gideon Masters, and makes a deal that will cost her her life. Once known as a talented healer she is accused of witchcraft by townsfolk who refuse to believe that Bess' miraculous recovery was the result of her skills alone. Unable to deny the accusation she meets her fate on the Hanging Tree, but not before making Bess promise that she will seek protection from the only one with the power to save her - Gideon. Under his guidance Bess learns to master the Craft, awakening powers she didn't know she had while also making her immortal. When the people of town turn their aggressions on Bess she realizes that she must escape - from the Hanging Tree and from Gideon and a his dangerous black magic. She couldn't know that he will persue her through time, determined to possess her and the power they could produce together.In present day England Elizabeth finds herself settled into a quite life. Alone she tends her gardens, and sells herbs and oils at the local market. Her solitary life is abruptly disrupted when a teenage girl called Tegan begins hanging around. Against her instincts Elizabeth takes pleasure in her company and her perceptive nature. Soon she begins teaching the ways of the hedge witch. Tegan is an eager pupil, and Elizabeth uses tales of long ago to school her in what it's like to be a witch, and how she came to be who she is today. But what of Gideon? Has he finally given up or is he just patiently waiting for an opportunity to capture Elizabeth and make her his own??It seemed fitting to read a book about witches this Halloween. I was drawn into this story right off the bat, although I did struggle a bit with the prologue. I filled it away with the hopes that it would make sense by end (it did, mostly...). There was an easy flow between the past and present as I got to know Elizabeth and Tegan. The stories from the past were interesting little vignettes that were unique on their own, but fit together to create a picture of who present day Elizabeth really is. There is a fair amount of "magic speak" that was foreign to me. Even thought I didn't understand the exact language (or words) I was able to glean enough of their meaning from the context. I suppose that's to be expected in a book about witches and magic. There are scenes of pretty graphic violence and the descriptions of some of the evil elements and even Gideon himself are quite vivid, resulting in some intense imagery. I can imagine the special effects for a movie version would be very frightening indeed!I moved quickly through the book and in no time found myself nearing the end. I had in mind how I thought things might turn out, and I saw the potential for a variety of scenarios. And while I won't tell you how it all ended, I will tell you that I was disappointed. I felt gypped. It almost seems like Ms. Brackston just wanted to be done, and went with the most cliche ending while of course leaving plenty of threads that could be picked up in a sequel.In summary I'd say it was a good book with some interesting bits of history mixed with a few different relationships, dappled with magic and wrapped up with a predictable bow. Not bad for a seasonal selection, but I won't be going out of my way to read book two should it appear!
  • (3/5)
    I did not find this book to fit my tastes very well. It reads very slowly in many places and I would not recommend it to anyone looking for a high amount of action. However, the setting and the historical feel of the novel is very interesting and relaxing at times, so if that is the type of thing you are interested in then you should try this book.
  • (4/5)
    With the story alternating between a contemporary setting and various points in time from the starting point of the early 1600's I found the story rather dry and not quite up to the fascinating episodes of Bess's past. The up and down quality of the present passages took away from the finale but when put with together with the entire novel I enjoyed it overall.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyable and well written story, this held my attention throughout in spite of not being a genre I usually choose. It was the second book I have read by this author and I intend to look out for more.oldstick.
  • (3/5)
    I liked the story, it was complex but easy to read and follow along. For me there could have been a little more involvement and details but overall I really liked the book.
  • (3/5)
    Following the long life of Elizabeth (Bess) Hawksmith from the 1620's to present day in a combination of narrative and journal format seemed to at times make it more difficult and confusing than it needed to be. This is a good story that I enjoyed for the most part. Seeing the highs and lows of her life and the world around her, all of the challenges she has overcome and finally the time she puts into her new apprentice. It was a struggle at times to keep focus on the story though.
  • (4/5)
    At first, this book starts out a bit slow. It's a bit strange because part of the book is told through Bess' journal. The rest of the story is told through memories. She goes back in time a lot to tell the stories of her old lives as she strives to stay away from Gideon, her immortal stalker.
  • (5/5)
    I thought that Brackston’s book was a fascinating tale about the life of a witch. The author clearly had done a great deal of research on the subject of Wicca and witchcraft in order to place the needed emphasis on the sabbats, lunar cycles, healing power of herbs, incantations, and invocations. The book itself reads like a diary, but is more in the ‘Book of Shadows’ format. The main voice is that of Elizabeth Hawksmith retelling her exploits over the years; and eventually telling tales about “other” witches: Bess, Eliza, and Elise to the reader and Elizabeth’s audience.Synopsis: Brackston’s novel is about a witch, Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, who was born in England in the 1600s. Surviving the Black Death with the aid of her mother (a noted and respected healer), Bess finds herself in a harrowing situation. Eventually she finds herself training as an apprentice witch to a warlock named Gideon Masters. Through him, Bess learns the craft – but the power that she learns to wield becomes too frightening, and she flees. In a dire time of need, Bess relies on a magic spell that bestows on her the gift/curse of immortality. Now in 2007, Elizabeth meets up with a promising young girl named Tegan, whom Elizabeth takes as her hedge witch apprentice. By forming a lasting relationship with Tegan, Elizabeth comes face to face with her fears, learns to stop running, and take a stand against an evil that has been hounding her for centuries. The overall message of the book is not to be afraid of who you are – nothing nor no one can hold you back from fulfilling your destiny. It is only when Elizabeth confronts her fears and truly accepts her powers that she is made whole.
  • (4/5)
    This started off a little slow for me. However, turned out to be a very interesting story line. I enjoyed hearing Elizabeth's stories from old times and how she became a witch. I enjoyed the thought and hope she put into training Tegan and taking the chance and of course her consipiracy to get Gideon out of the picture. Very well written and once I caught on to what was going on it became very intriguing. I hope this continues on into a series.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed reading about Elizabeth's long life at its various points and the ending was pretty exciting, but I did get a little mad at the way it seemed she forgot that her enemy was out there (I can't be much more clear without including spoilers). After the first run in, I was able to tell who the enemy was in each scenario almost as soon as he/she was introduced. Took a little from the enjoyment of the book. But, the characters are richly developed and overall the book is an OK read.
  • (3/5)
    To be honest, I'm not quite sure how to review "The Witch's Daughter." Was it well written? Yes. Very. It is written in a mix of the title character's Diary-like entries interspersed with storytelling from the title character's history. It is unusual, but Brackston makes it work quite handily.Was it an interesting book? Yes. The story was fairly unique, not a rehash of a familiar plot.The problem is that it was not a happy ending. It didn't end well for anyone really. The story was rather slow, but suited the material. I would have been able to look past the flaws and probably fallen in love with the book if it had a positive outcome. But...it didn't. The story is about a life filled with tragedy more than anything else. So, if you enjoy tragedies, I would recommend it to you. If you have had enough of the tragedies of our daily lives and, like I do, prefer books that have a "Happy Ever After" (or even just a "Happy-for-Now") ending, I would suggest you skip "The Witch's Daughter" until you are in the mood for a tragedy.
  • (4/5)
    If ever there was a time on this planet to be a witch, the seventeenth century wasn't it. The Salem Witch Trials went on in America in the latter half of that century as well. How awful it must have been for those people (and their loved ones) who were accused and executed for no other reasons than paranoia and mass hysteria. Everybody knows that there are no such things as witches, right?In The Witch's Daughter, Bess learns the hard way that there are such things as witches. In the beginning, she lives in the village of Batchcombe, England with her two siblings and parents and fancies herself maybe being a lady someday. But all that changes after the plague rampages through and takes most of her family and many others, leaving distraught mothers wandering the town, mourning their children and hating Bess' mother for being left with a daughter. Soon after, Bess' mother is hanged for being a witch, leaving Bess to turn to a man who she is certain can't be trusted, Gideon Masters. With him, Bess learns that she is a real witch like her mother, and has plenty of power. Gideon wants that power for himself and wants Bess to be his mate/partner/so-called equal but after Bess catches him in the woods one night, doing all those naughty things with demons that evil warlocks like to do, she escapes and tries to put Batchcombe and Gideon behind her. Now immortal, Bess changes her identity and traveling around to Whitechapel, London during Jack the Ripper's terror and the frontlines of WWII, working to help others like a good witch should but knows that trouble is right behind her. Almost four hundred years after her family's tragedy, Bess is comfortable in a small town in England and against her nature, befriends a teenage girl who wants to learn about Bess' craft. Complacency makes Bess worry, however, and when Tegan meets a boy who monopolizes her time and attention and works to poison her relationship with Bess, Bess starts gathering her weapons for a final showdown with Gideon. The Witch's Daughter seemed daunting to me at first; three hundred pages of (what appears to be) tightly-spaced ten point font is not something you can just rip through in one sitting but that's pretty much what I did: read it all in one evening, right after dinner. It started a bit slowly but once I got to the first flashback about Bess' village, I was hooked. Told mostly through flashbacks in between bits of the present, The Witch's Daughter is a compelling story about what inner strength really is.
  • (4/5)
    I received this book as part of the early reviews program on LT. I was exceptionally excited to be awarded this novel and was not dissappointed. The Witches Daughter is an elegant mix of fantasy and historical fiction with a dab of romance thrown in. The book itself is told in beautiful detail. It alternates between the first person journal entries of the protagonist, Elizabeth, a 300 plus year old witch and the third person retelling of her life since she became immortal. Elizabeth has led many lives since she was transformed by her one time teacher and current nemesis, Gideon. The reader is transported to WWI and the bloody front line, nineteenth century England and the hunt for Jack the Ripper, and the 1600's in the dark time of witch hunts, in what appear to be seperate tales, but are really the woven together history of one woman as she flees from the man/monster who created her.While initially I felt this was going to be a slow read, once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. The novel has a very literary feel to it and is in turns tragic and lovely. I felt a genuine admiration for Bess/Eliza/Elizabeth. I found her interactions to be realistic and the narrative enjoyable. I would have like to have explored Gideon more, but all in all, a book I would highly recommend.
  • (5/5)
    Picked this title up from Doubleday, based on its name, and its brief description there. Time to see wht else Paula Brakston has to offer, for this was an exclllent piece of work.Written as a Book of Shadows, much like a diary, this tale chronicles the life of a witch, Elizabeth Hawksmith, from the time she was a teenage girl in 1627, through present day. It relates the tale of her family, the town and time they lived in, and how easily fear, ignorance, and lack of reason led to the persecution of witches in the times they lived in. The deaths of her father and siblings due to the plague, and how her mother was excecuted for practicing witchcreaftto save Elizabeth's life. She tells of how she took the nautral spark of magic she had in her at birth, and had a warlock, Gideon, to fully awaken her as a witch. she learned how evil he was then, and went into hiding, using her gifts only to heal.Her history takes her thru England in the time of jack the Ripper, and thru the battlefield in WWI. Woven inot her life's history is and account of her living present day, in a small village, where she thinks she can finally be safe. she meets a young girl there named Tegan. A lost and troubled girl, who finds her way into Elizabeth's heart. The problem - Elizabeth's old Ememy Gideon has found Tegan too, and using her to get to Elizabeth. After 400 years of running, can she finally face him, and save Tegan from his evil ways?
  • (3/5)
    Dangit, I already reviewed this and my review disappeared.Anywho, I read this for Early Reviewers. This kind of book is definitely my style, but this wasn't one of the greats. I understand why Bess would use an old fashioned style of language, but it felt uneven and odd and sometimes Bess's extreme dramatics were just plain funny (in an awkward, unintentional kind of way). I liked the historical detail and some of the plot points, but the bits in the present were disjointed and Bess becomes a lot less likeable rather abruptly. There were some very original parts, so I hope to see more from this author with a bit more polish.
  • (4/5)
    It's been an interesting read, took me a bit to get into, but the Salem story grabbed me. A different take on the Salem witch trials and how a witch can survive through history.
  • (4/5)
    I found I really liked this book, for its rich detail within both history and describing Bess's life.The story centers around Bess, who began life happy in her home and family until Plague took her sister, brother and father. Bess is also afflicted, but mysteriously survived to find her mother accused a witch and very few options for her own safety. She flees to Gideon, who teaches her magic and initiates her into his dark coven.What follows is the story of Bess's flight from Gideon as he tracks her through time, and her ongoing efforts to use her magic for good, to keep people safe and to heal them.As I said, the story is rich in historic detail, and captivating for its emotional theme. Very nicely written.
  • (5/5)
    I must start by saying that I loved this book. I found it fascinating, cruel, sweet, harsh, and touching all in one. I love Bess/Elizabeth. I almost want to be her, but she suffered so much of her life that I don't think I could survive it. Bess grew up in Bathcombe, Wessex in 1628. She lived with her Father, Mother, brother, and sister. They all loved each other dearly. Bess' Mom is a healer and herbalist. Then the plague hits the town and her family is torn apart. On top of the heartache caused by the plague, a witchfinder comes to town. He accuses several people close to Bess of being witches and causes turmoil in the town. Bess believes that she is going to be accused of being a witch, because she can do things nobody else can. She flees to the strange man in the woods and asks for help. He tells her that he can help her learn more about her powers. Chaos ensues. It is now the year 2007 and we meet a familiar person who now goes by the name Elizabeth. She has moved to a small cottage outside Bathcombe. Here she makes potions, lotions, soaps, etc. She reluctantly befriends a teen neighbor named Tegan. Elizabeth is scared to befriend Tegan because someone has been after Elizabeth for 400 years and she does not want Tegan to be hurt. She has been so lonely though, that she is secretly thrilled to have someone interested in her. Can she teach Tegan the ways of a hedge witch without causing any of them trouble? Will her past reach out to haunt her? I was thrilled to see that Paula Brackston has other novels. I will definitely read them. It was a very busy week for me, but I kept putting things off to read this book. This is a book of magic, friendship, heartache, and joy. I will recommend this book to friends, which is high praise, because I don’t often do that.
  • (3/5)
    The whole "creation" tale was done a bit different than I'm used it (though I've not read that much in the way of witch or wiccan story lines). Instead of being just born into the skill, its more of a learned skill and gift from another.My favorite portions were those from Bess's past. Those flowed better for me, and the characters were more interesting. Even the stalker aspect that usually is a turn off for me in other books wasn't so off putting in this. But when those retellings ended and it rejoined the journal entries, it was more disjointed there, and had to readjust to the tone of the narration.Its not a bad read, but I just wasn't enthralled with it. I didn't want to read because I wanted to know what happened next, but more so for finishing on the library deadline. I really enjoyed reading The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane a heck of alot more
  • (4/5)
    The book follows the life of an almost 300 year old witch named Bess/Elizabeth. Beautiful integration of past stories into present scenes.
  • (4/5)
    Engaging tale of a woman pursued through time by the man who initiated her into witchcraft. In the present day, she meets an inquisitive teenage girl, introduces her to wicca, and they become friends. The time travel device frequently irritates me but in this tale it works, as the woman's initiation mirrors the teenager's engagement with wicca, so ultimately I was sorry it was a one-off story and not the beginning of a series.