Author: Chris Bohjalian
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Released: May 4, 2021
The paranormal meets historical fiction in Chris Bohjalian’s Hour of the Witch, a thrilling tale of one woman’s fight for survival.
The year is 1662, Boston. Mary Deerfield is the wife of Thomas Deerfield, a cruel and brutal man. One night Thomas takes his cruelty too far, forcing Mary to decide that she must divorce him to save her life.
However, she lives in a time when it doesn’t take much to be accused of being a witch. Suddenly, instead of fighting for freedom, she’s fighting for her life as the village turns against her.
“I have heard it argued that prayer does not change God’s mind; rather, it changes us.”
“Yes, the act.”
“I will ponder that idea.”
In many ways Hour of the Witch feels like the perfect Salem Witch Trial novel. It shows how easily people turned on one another. I was going to add back then to the end of that sentence, but I have changed my mind on that.
Bohjalain perfectly captures the horrifying brutality that comes with societal pressure, and the pain that can so easily be inflicted from one human to another. There’s cruelty in the casualness of it all, and especially in the supposedly intimate acts, such as a husband being allowed to beat his wife in that era.
I really enjoyed Mary’s character, and I think that made everything that happened here all the more horrifying because of it. We never want to see people suffer – especially when they’re people we care about.
Overall, this is a good – yet very intense – read. If you love reading about this time period then I imagine you will thoroughly enjoy this read.
Thanks to Doubleday Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.