The Familiars by Stacey Halls

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The most spellbinding debut novel of 2019

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn¹t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

When she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife, Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong.

When Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye?

As the two women’s lives become inextricably bound together, the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood¹s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

My Review

I know you are not meant to judge a book by its cover, but what a cover it is!

This book is simply stunning, inside and out!

Based around the Pendle witches and culminating to their trial this is a walk through history with its own little twist, breathing its own life blending fact with fiction.

I won’t go into plot breakdowns as the book blurb does that so much better than I ever could, giving just the right amount of details to draw you in if the beautiful cover didn’t do that all by itself! But I will say is this,

This book is written with magic laced throughout.

Filled with some magikal characters that have you rooting for them from the very first page and one or two that you wish to see face the same fate as the accused women, it is a sweeping tale of the women, witchcraft and life in rural England in the 1600s as well as friendship and love.

How far would you go to save a friend? One accused of murder by witchcraft. One that will surely hang for the accusation of being a witch. Set in a period of time when it was perilous at times to be a woman this book brings to life the insecurities and dangers to the woman of that time faced as well as how powerless the women really were in the face of their husbands and where men held all the power.

Knowing that a lot of the characters were real life, living and breathing people from our history as well as the real life setting of Gawthorpe Hall and details made from real history makes the whole story come alive, dancing across its pages.

A beautiful book and a wonderful story that I am sure will captivate you as much as it did me, simply brilliant!

The Familiars will be published on 04 February 2019 in kindle format and 07 February 2109 in hardback.

You can pre-order you copy now below.

A massive thank you to the author Stacey Halls, publishers HarperCollins and edelweiss+ for my digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest and independent review.

 

 

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