The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder's Sister

Essex, England, 1645. With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth--but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, some...

Details The Witchfinder's Sister

TitleThe Witchfinder's Sister
Release DateApr 25th, 2017
PublisherBooks on Tape
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Paranormal, Witches, Fantasy, European Literature, British Literature

Reviews The Witchfinder's Sister

  • Maureen
    Long before the Salem witch trials, there were the Manningtree witch trials in Essex England, and for many women it was a time of pure terror.London 1645, and Alice Hopkins finds herself pregnant, and having to return to her home village of Manningtree, Essex, after the death of her husband. She will be living with her brother Matthew Hopkins 'The Witchfinder General'. Matthew is a cruel, troubled, sullen individual, with a persona of evil about ...
  • Diane S ☔
    3.5 Manningtree, the Essex witch trials, in the two years between 1645 and 1647, hundreds of women were investigated and hanged as witches. Matthew Stafford was called the witch finder, a man who for unknown reasons pursued across many counties all rumors and gossip of supposed witches. In this novel the author attempts to give us a reason why Stafford acted and believed as he did. Our narrator is Eliza, Matthew's sister, who has returned to Mann...
  • Candi
    "These last months, I have learned that the acknowledged history that belongs to the daylight, that is not the only history. Turn over the stone and you will find another history, wriggling to escape."It is the seventeenth century in England, and while Civil War occupies the minds of both soldiers and citizens, one man has the opportunity to follow his own agenda without interference. Termed the Witchfinder, Matthew Hopkins has a list of names an...
  • Irena
    Actual rating: 3,5It has been 15 days since I read The Witchfinder’s Sister, and I still don’t know what to think about it.That happens rarely to me, almost never.I have to warn you that my review will probably be all over the place because I am still finding the words to express my thoughts, but there is one thing I can say for sure: The Witchfinder’s Sister left me confused.The story follows Alice Hopkins who returns to her childhood town...
  • Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
    The Witchfinder's Sister is exactly what the title implies: The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she has no choice but to return to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers...
  • Liz Barnsley
    The Witchfinder’s Sister is a tense, highly atmospheric historical drama based on fact, a book that it is easy to devour in quick smart fashion, with it’s vivid and emotionally drawn characters and a beautifully described sense of place and time.Alice loses her husband in a tragic accident and having no choice returns home to her brother. Matthew is a strange one, and deeply involved in the local community and wider, whispers of witchcraft ab...
  • Erin
    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...The New York Times Book Review says Beth Underdown’s The Witchfinder’s Sister is “a novel for our times…” and if that is true, I fear for both our times and the quality of literature it produces. I mean no offense to the reviewer or to the author for that matter, but I wholeheartedly disagree with the assessment and am not inclined to pretend otherwise.The novel cen...
  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
    "For they say what happened, but not what it was like. They say what happened, but they do not say why.”Witch hunting is one of the most embarrassing pieces of human history. ‘The Witchfinder’s Sister’ is a fictional tale where the author conceives a plausible viewpoint of Matthew Stafford’s sister. This isn’t based on a true story since, while these characters were real, so little is known about them. We do know that during the Essex...
  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    A big thank you goes to Beth Underdown, Ballantine Books, and netgalley for this free copy in exchange for an unbiased review."Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live""Why hast thou forsaken me"Really a 3.5 one of the better witch hunt novels I've read especially since it's based on different historical perspective The Civil War of 1640s England is rolling on, and the hunt for witches is strong in the counties. Women are arrested and persecuted for...
  • Pat
    Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.4 starsThis is an historical fiction book based on witch trials in Essex England before the Salem witch trials took place in America. I knew nothing of this history going into this book.Matthew Hopkins was a true witchfinder in 1645 Manningtree, Essex, England. He has a notorious reputation for having condemned so many women of witchcraft. In this novel, his sister Al...
  • Kate
    It's not often I can read a book in one or two sittings but this marvellous book demanded it. Do not miss this!
  • Jules
    I always find myself drawn to books about witchcraft. The history of witchcraft and the witch trials is something that has fascinated me for years. When I was a child I visited Clarke Hall in Yorkshire (a wonderful museum that is sadly no longer open) on a school trip, and remember being told a story about a woman who was accused of being a witch because she used herbs to heal. She had to sneak out of Clarke Hall through secret passages and had t...
  • Mandy
    This is the story of Alice, who has to return to her home town of Manningtree in Essex after the death of her husband. She returns to her brother's house, but her brother, Matthew, has changed since she last had contact with him. He has become involved with some powerful men, and has begun the hunt for witches in the county of Essex. Alice is drawn into this work, much as she does not want to be, but begins to try to find ways to hinder her broth...
  • The Captain
    Ahoy there mateys! Though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes. So occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were.One standard “non-standard for me” genre is historical fiction. While I love history by itself, I enjoy historical fiction for the blending of history and getting to feel like ...
  • Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
    4.5 stars rounded up to 5Every time I read a historical fiction book, I'm reminded just how fascinating English history is, and that I absolutely bloody love this genre! Beth Underdown has done a superb job of writing her debut novel based on true events surrounding the fear and intrigue of Witchcraft in seventeenth century England. The story is based on the life of the 1640s Witchfinder Matthew Hopkins, with the main protagonist being his sister...
  • Carrie
    In 1645, Alice Hopkins' husband died in a horrible accident leaving her to return to to the small Essex town of Manningtree where her brother lived to move in with him. Little did Alice know that her brother had changed though with rumors of him having a book of women's names that accused them of witchcraft. With Alice hiding a pregnancy she slowing begins to uncover the darker side of her brother Matthew. The Witchfinder's Sister is a fictional ...
  • Lucy Banks
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.A fabulously strong debut, focusing on witchcraft in the 17th century.I really enjoyed this book. It centres on Alice, a recently widowed woman who returns to live with her brother - a relatively taciturn, unpleasant individual who happens to be on a mission to condemn as many woman as possible to death for witchcraft.Based loosely on real events, it's an engrossing a...
  • Carlos
    This book is very slow and the main character keeps a low profile all throughout it, she does surprises you towards the end and that's what redeemed this book in my eyes. We are mostly shown the main character life through the eyes of his brother , the supposedly "witch finder " , we learn of his upbringing and how it connects to who he is currently. We see the impotence the mc feels at the suffering of innocent women being accused of being witch...
  • Karen
    This fictional account based on a real event in history is told through the eyes of Alice Hopkins, Matthew’s sister (or half-sister to be exact). Matthew’s mother (by now recently deceased) was her father’s second wife and with her older brothers having left home, Alice and her younger sibling formed a close bond with Alice being protective of Matthew. Badly scarred from fire burns as a baby Matthew’s life was not an easy one but he had s...
  • Zuky the BookBum
    I think now that to be close to someone can be to underestimate them. Grow too close, and you do not see what they are capable of; or you do not see it in time. The Witchfinder’s Sister is based on true life witch hunter Matthew Hopkins that grew to fame during the English Civil War around East Anglia, hunting and killing “witches”. This book isn’t non-fiction, it’s fiction based around non-fiction! I love these sorts of books that crea...
  • Mary
    I received this book for free through NetGalley. I am a huge fan of historical witchy fiction, and this book was mostly superb. Told by Alice, whose brother Matthew hunts, persecutes, and helps to hang women accused of witchcraft, the story is disturbing and compelling, despite the oft times archaic language. My only criticism is the lack of emotion I felt from Alice. Throughout her tale, she suffers many tragedies and losses, but I just didn't ...
  • MaryannC.Book Fiend
    The Witchfinder's Sister takes place in the Essex Town Manningtree, England during the 1640's where young Alice returns home after the tragic death of her husband to find that her brother, Matthew has become a prominent but mostly feared man in the community. Trying to settle in and forget the painful memories of her husband, Alice discovers that her brother is a Witchfinder, a man who seeks out persons accused of practicing Witchcraft to torture...
  • Laura
    Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.comThe Witchfinder’s Sister definitely has a unique premise – set in 17th century Essex and told from the perspective of Alice, whose brother seems to be rather too interested in the current whispers and rumours about witchcraft, the novel follows her as she slowly unravels her brother’s dark side and the past that may have led him to behave the way he does…The writing does a great job of really bringing th...
  • Karen Whittard
    The witch finders sister I love history. I love finding out about history. I especially love it when it is about true events and real life people. I have always been fascinated by the witch hunts and I would love to go to Salem to find out more. This story is set in 1640s in Manningtree England. Which was the original place that witch hunting started before it went to Salem. Alice Hopkins returns to Manningtree after her husband has died with a l...
  • Warrengent
    Surely one of the best novels of 2017, absolutely stunning read where to be a woman in 1645, was a daily grind and if you spoke out of place or your name was out there as a witch your days were numbered highly recommend you read this novel
  • Bandit
    Because those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it and almost no one ever learns their lessons, Salem wasn't the first, the most gruesome or even one with the highest body count. For that one must travel back to the source, the land of Puritans, England of the 1640s, where one man and his associates sat off on a witchhunt so accomplished (if that's isn't too flippant of a word for it) that it resolved in possibly 100s of women's...
  • Angela Smith
    I was interested to read this as it was about Matthew Hopkins "Witchfinder General" I had seen the old movie with Vincent Price in it and knew a little of the history of this terrible man. However, what also interested me was that a lot of what happened, happened in my part of the country including the hanging of several women in my city.The book, although written as fiction contains many facts about the real Matthew Hopkins and his ways of disco...
  • Roman Clodia
    Set in 1645, this takes an interestingly slanted perspective on Matthew Hopkins, the notorious self-styled Witchfinder General. The story is told by his half-sister Alice who returns to Manningtree in Essex to find her brother embroiled in accusations of malice, spelling and witchcraft aimed mostly, though not exclusively, at women. This is not an unfamiliar story but Underdown approaches it with a welcome lack of sensationalism. She keeps her ca...
  • Tania
    3.5 stars. A thoughtful and atmospheric novel, written from the point of view of Matthew Hopkins fictional sister. I loved that The Witchfinders sister was understated and that it focused on the possible motivations of the witch hunter, and not on the mass hysteria created by the situation. This book is all about power and fear. I loved Alice, she was a strong, straightforward and authentic character. The twist right at the end was brilliant. Rec...