The Familiars by Stacey HallsThe Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars

byStacey Halls

Paperback | February 19, 2019

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To save her unborn child, she will trust a stranger.

To protect her secret, she must risk her life.

1612 Pendle Hill, England

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth is with child again. As the mistress of Gawthorpe Hall, she is anxious to provide her husband with an heir. But none of her previous pregnancies have come to term. Then she discovers a hidden letter from her physician that warns her husband that she will not survive another pregnancy.

Distraught over the frightening revelation, Fleetwood wanders the woods of Pendle Hill, where she comes across a young local woman named Alice Gray who is gathering herbs. A midwife, Alice promises Fleetwood she can help her deliver a healthy baby. But soon Alice is drawn into the frenzied accusations of witchcraft sweeping the countryside. Even the woodland creatures, the “familiars,” are suspected of practicing the dark arts. Can Fleetwood trust that Alice is really who she says she is?

As the two women’s lives become intertwined, Fleetwood must risk everything to prove Alice’s innocence in order to save her own unborn child. The hunt for witches reaches fever pitch. Time is running out. The trials are about to begin. Both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Set against the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612, this rich and compelling novel draws its characters from historical figures as it explores the lives and rights of seventeenth-century women, ultimately raising the question: Is witch-hunting really just women-hunting?

Title:The FamiliarsFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:352 pages, 8.91 × 5.97 × 1.01 inShipping dimensions:8.91 × 5.97 × 1.01 inPublished:February 19, 2019Publisher:Mira BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0778308677

ISBN - 13:9780778308676

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from An interesting read The novel centres on an occurrence that so many women go through – pregnancy and giving birth. Modern medicine has made this a relatively safe event but in the 1600s it was fraught with danger. Unbelievably the women known as the wise women in this time period were seen as witches and many were, for a time, put on trial as witches. The Familiars is told from the point of view of a woman who is pregnant. We read of her belief in her midwife, as well as her frustration with her inability to save the woman she believes in. How disheartening it must have been for thinking women during that time period to achieve anything! The novel clearly describes the main character’s powerlessness in the face of a powerful man who disregards the opinion of women. While reading Halls’ novel, I wished for the point of view of Alice, the midwife. Knowing more about what she was feeling – her fear, her frustration, her anger – would have made the novel even more effective. While reading the story as it is now, it does seem a little incomplete as only one side is told. In addition, I would have liked to read a bit more about the trials themselves (maybe through the point of view of Alice). Adding Alice’s story would have made the story more heartbreaking and, for me, more compelling. However, I enjoyed reading this book with its very brief view of the Pendle witch trials and its story told from the point of view of a wealthy woman who has the time to attempt to save the life of her midwife. For readers who enjoy historical fiction, this novel should be considered as it follows the path of hope.
Date published: 2019-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Random but, really enjoyed it I randomly saw this book and decided to buy it about a week ago. I found once I started it I didn’t want to put it down. I don’t know much about the actual Pendle Witch Trials of the 1600’s (Did some googling while reading the book), but it’s an interesting fiction Stacey Halls has woven around that period. I don’t want to spoil anything, but when your done the book google the actual trials. I hope she writes more books !
Date published: 2019-03-02