Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Witching Hour by Elizabeth Laird

I've always liked Elizabeth Laird's books. I've read several by her that deal with children in difficult situations around the world. This is the first one I've read by her that deals with an historical time period.

The Witching Hour is set in Scotland in the late 1600's. During this time, there was a real fight between religions. In England, the fight between the Protestant and Catholic way to worship changed with each new King or Queen. This book deals with a young girl- Maggie who starts out accused of being a witch and is sentenced to hang. When she is forced to run for her life, she falls right into the fight between the Protestants and Catholics. I really liked how the book shows how scared people were of things they didn't understand. It was much easier for people to blame unfortunate events on a woman and accuse her of witchcraft than it was to understand that bad things happen sometimes.

This book gives an interesting insight to a part of history that will be new to many young readers. I like the way Elizabeth Laird teaches history through real characters. Maggie is a very believable character and throughout the story you are drawn into the drama that surrounds her and her family. As an adult reader, I liked that about the book. I'm not sure that just any reader will pick this one up. You need to have a liking for historical novels to enjoy this one.

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