Hour of the witch : a novel

by Bohjalian, Chris, 1962-

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 33 Libraries 53 of 116 copies
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Summary
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER * "Absolutely riveting historical fiction that reads like the most page-turning of thrillers." --Lisa Scottoline, bestselling author of Eternal

One of the Washington Post 's 20 Books to Read This Summer * A Real Simple Best New Book

A young Puritan woman--faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul--plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive novel of historical suspense from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.

Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary's hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life.

But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary--a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony--soon becomes herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary's garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows.

A twisting, tightly plotted novel of historical suspense from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying story of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Someone is out to get Mary Deerfield, and in mid-seventeenth-century Boston, that's not hard to do. It's a pious city, and in nearby towns, most notoriously Salem, compassionate, enviable women are easy targets. Twentysomething Mary fits the bill, but she also has a brute of a husband, a devious servant, and suspicious neighbors. The comely Mary, daughter of a prosperous merchant, is miller Thomas Deerfield's second wife. Twice her age, he is a bully and a drunk, physically and emotionally abusive. The berating and beatings are constants, carefully done out of sight until the violence escalates, leading Mary to petition for a rare divorce. The case fails, but Mary is determined to escape this perilous relationship. Yet before she can carry out a new plan, her actions and attitudes earn her the dreaded charge of "witch," with a sham trial and noose already prepared. Throughout Bohjalian's prolific career, he has rewarded readers with indelibly drawn female protagonists, and the formidable yet vulnerable Mary Deerfield is a worthy addition to the canon. Conjuring up specters of #MeToo recriminations and social media shaming, there are twenty-first-century parallels to Bohjalian's atmospheric Puritan milieu, and his trademark extensive research pays off in this authentic portrait of courage in the face of society's worst impulses.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Bohjalian is a perennial favorite, and this Salem Witch Hunt drama has a special magnetism."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Mary Deerfield, the indomitable, 24-year-old protagonist of this twisty thriller set in 17th-century Boston from bestseller Bohjalian (The Red Lotus), has been married for five years to Thomas, a well-to-do widower almost twice her age, whose abusiveness has escalated with her failure to become pregnant. In bed with her brutish, frequently drunk husband, Mary fantasizes about how different life might be with someone like seductive bachelor Henry Simmons, whom she meets when he pulls her out of the way of an oxcart that threatens to run her down. Gossip soon grows about the pair, at the same time Mary discovers items buried in her garden associated with witchcraft. Then Thomas's most violent assault yet propels Mary to petition for divorce, a step she knows will bring dangerous scrutiny from a populace primed to spy the devil's hand everywhere. Chapter-prefacing snippets from testimony at Mary's future court appearances fan suspense, but also make her painful journey there seem at times excruciatingly slow. With its exploration of themes including domestic abuse, toxic masculinity, and mass hysteria, the novel feels like anything but a period piece. Bohjalian fans and newcomers alike will be satisfied. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Puritans -- Massachusetts -- Fiction.
Marital violence -- Fiction.
Malicious accusation -- Fiction.
Trials (Witchcraft) -- Massachusetts -- Fiction.
Massachusetts -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Detective and mystery fiction.
Thrillers (Fiction)
Publisher New York :2021
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 405 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 403-405).
ISBN 9780385542432
0385542437
9780525432692
0525432698
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