Bess Southers is a widow living in Pendle Forest. She has visions, and is known as a cunning woman. She uses folk magic to heal the sick and tell the future. She passes on her knowledge to her granddaughter Alizon and to her friend who gets caught up in dark magic. She is named as a witch as their neighbors become suspicious of them and their craft.
This story is based on the 1612 Pendle witch-hunt, and is fictionalized to show what it might have been like for some of the accused women. The first part of the book is narrated by Bess Southers, and the second by Alizon. I liked this because it gave different perspectives on what the women were doing, and what brought about the accusations from their neighbors.
The story flowed beautifully, as Sharratt brought to life the events of the Pendle witch-hunt. I got caught up in the details that easily brings the reader into the everyday events of 1612. I thought there was a great balance between historical details and setting, and the telling of Bess and Alizon's story. It was an engaging and thought provoking read. I thought it was a compelling story, and I am so glad I discovered it. It is definitely one I will read again.
A must read for historical fiction fans or those interested in witch-hunts.