Review Wednesday -Blackwater by Alison Williams

img_1898I hadn’t realised this book was a prequel when I began to read it but, no matter, it is a very interesting introduction to the characters of the novel, The Black Hours and now I am glad I have read it first.

Maggie and her daughter, Lizzie live in England back in the time when superstition and belief in witches was rife. ‘Healers’ or ‘cunning women’ were  relied on in their villages for herbal cures and for assistance in the very dangerous process of childbirth, but at the same time they were looked upon with suspicion. If some illness misfortune occurs amongst the people of the community it is all too easy to point a finger at these most vulnerable of citizens.

The story opens with three women about to pay the ultimate price for their perceived wrongdoing. Maggie, accompanied by a reluctant Lizzie, go along to attend the hanging of three (two of them mother and daughter)  not to jeer and celebrate as do most at this macabre carnival but to meet the women eye to eye, to help make them feel that they are not alone in their last moments. This duty, Maggie tells Lizzie, is just part of their job.

Life is hard for Maggie and Lizzie. The drudgery of every day life is evident and very well illustrated in the text. But things are changing, Lizzie is falling in love with just the wrong person, someone who comes from a family of huge influence in the area and the consequences for such a love match could be severe.

I really enjoyed this book, something different and insightful and much more than just a love story. I am very much looking forward to reading The Black Hours.

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9 thoughts on “Review Wednesday -Blackwater by Alison Williams

    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Yes, I am absolutely looking forward to it but I have to read The Devil You Know first and there is a little bit of a story behind that which I will tell you about when I have finished! 😉🤗

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  1. Ali Isaac

    I read the Black Hours, and it is an excellent read. Alison is a talented writer whose research is meticulous. I found it quite disturbing, though, to know that this really was life in the late middle ages, and that these things really happened. Stayed with me for a long time after reading.

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    1. wendyunsworth Post author

      Thank you for your input Ali, I will be sure to make The Black Hours one of my reads in the near future. As I said in my review it was good to read something different but I agree, the reality of history can be brutal and particularly where susperstition and the need to find an explanation for things was concerned. I expect the research for such books can be quite harrowing. I do agree that Alison Williams Is a very good writer.

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