I finished this audiobook over a month ago, and the review was sitting here mostly done, but I just never finished it. I didn’t care about this book enough to post the mostly shitty review. Meh.
I think part of the reason I disliked this book was the reader. She irritated me to no end.
The sections from Patience Madden’s point of view sounded like she was both terrified and on the brink of tears. You are led to believe that she has gained some intelligence in her elder years but you find out (spoiler) that she does not. She is still stupid. She is a very stupid child, and can give the illusion that she now knows the way of the world, but she does not. She gains information, but not intelligence. When she is
remembering 1645 (from 1690-something), she leaves things out from events that we just saw from the narrator’s POV where Patience played a significant role. I guess it is because she is “remembering” and the narrator is not, but it still seems strange. She has a vain, bitchy older sister and a crazily strict Puritan father who is the minister. At some point you feel kind of bad for her, as she appears to get no love or even acknowledgement most of the time from her father. She is supposed to be about 13 or 14 years old, I’m guessing, and she knows nothing of the real world.
That is a complete change from our other main character, Nell. She is the cunning woman’s granddaughter, who is the local healer and has “the Knowledge.” She is basically a hedgewitch. She is 12, and already knows a great many things. She is learning the healing craft from her granny, and knows the general way of the world. She even threatens to hex more than one male character so that they may “never frolic again.” She also knows of the piskies and the fairies and the Powers, and is a merrybegot herself. But while she inherits “the Knowledge” from her granny, she did not appear to get any of the cunning part. She makes some extremely poor choices and still comes across as naive about some things.
The plot was fairly predictable, although I expected more characters to suffer unfortunate circumstances. The ending of Nell’s story was more than a bit trite, and I half-approve of the fate of the minister’s daughters. The “villains” of our tale did not get a big enough dose of misfortune. The
parts with the piskies and fairies were not terrible (with one exception), and I enjoyed the chicken. Probably because I work with chickens.
So this earned one star. I didn’t hate about 20 percent of the book, so there you go.