The Witchfinder’s Sister
The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown fleshes out the historical two-year period that found over 100 women executed as witches in 17th century England.
After the death of her husband, Alice Hopkins returns home to live with her brother. Matthew Hopkins is a witchfinder and travels across the English countryside hunting and executing witches. Alice slowly finds herself drawn into Matthew’s twisted vision of the world. Despite her best efforts, she is unable to save any of the so-called witches and lands herself squarely in his crosshairs. The entire story is told through her notes as she starts off the story imprisoned with no hope of escape.
The Witchfinder’s Sister is harrowing. Alice herself is in increasingly dire straits. Things get even worse as the brother she remembered as sullen and vicious only becomes more so and gains absolute power over innocent women’s lives. While most of the story is drawn from historical fact, Underdown brilliantly crafts a fictional tale that puts readers on the ground floor for the horrors of a true witch hunt—including the sink-or-swim test and weighings.
Visceral, tense, and shockingly based in fact, The Witchfinder’s Sister paints a tale of a troubled man abusing immense power.
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