Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What I'm Reading this Week

The Last Witchfinder
by James Morrow

As a young English girl, Jennet Stearne observes the horror of her erudite and beloved aunt Isobel burned at the stake. Jennet, whose own father was instrumental in proving Isobel's "guilt", resolves to devise proof that will repudiate witchhunts.

A spirited girl of great bravery and conviction, Jennet's mission carries her to the New World, where her brother takes up the witchfinding cause and Jennet is captured by natives.

That is just the beginning. This fanciful tale has occupied my precious reading moments for the past two weeks, as Jennet is caught up in some of the great uphevals of her time and mingles with some of its greatest people. The early chapters brilliantly cast the horrific history of witchhunts with the dramatic leaps in scientifc knowledge in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The momentum of the story has ebbed and now as I start Part III with 320 pages behind me, and 200 to go, it is a toss up as to whether I will persist to the end, or succumb to one of the other books on my nightstand.

What are you reading? Reply to this post and let others know.

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