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Review – The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent

The Heretic’s Daughter
Kathleen Kent
Published September 2, 2008
332 pages
Historical Fiction

I received The Heretic’s Daughter as an ARC, but since I’m practically drowning in books to read (I’m just glad my husband never points out that I DON’T need more books)…wait…wait for it…I’ve got a picture to prove I AM drowning in books!

Mmm HM. I don’t know if you can tell but my tongue’s hanging out. Like it does when you’re dead. ‘Cause I’ve seen so many dead people. You didn’t know? Well now you know.

I’m not easily distracted. Not at all. How bouts we get back to the book?

I received The Heretic’s Daughter as an ARC, and had EVERY INTENTION of reading it right away, but alas, I didn’t (see picture above, please), and then Mary from Blog Stop Book Tours said she’d be touring the book, and I was all, Dude, I already have that book! So I jumped on the bookwagon and promised to read it.

Holy mother of Jehoshaphat, was this book good!

I’m going to try doing this review in a bunch of short sentences. Let’s see how this goes.

  • Sarah’s family moves to Andover to live with her grandmother.
  • Sarah is 10 years old.
  • Sarah’s mom is very quiet but strong willed, who puts people in their places and doesn’t let people walk all over her, which, instead of garnering respect, breeds suspicion and dislike.
  • Sarah’s brother gets small pox, which means Sarah has to go live with her aunt and uncle who live nearby, even though the families are not on speaking terms.
  • Sarah loves her aunt and uncle, as they’re much more warm and open and lovey dovey than her family and she especially loves her cousin Margaret, but alas, the next time she sees Margaret will be in a jail cell.
  • Sarah’s family buys this girl, Mercy, who’s like 16 and working to pay off some kind of debt, and Mercy tries to seduce Sarah’s oldest brother and then fakes a preganancy which Sarah’s mom knows is a lie so kicks her out.
  • Rumors are spreading about the witch trials over in Salem but Sarah’s family doesn’t think it’ll affect them but it does when Sarah’s mom is accused of witchcraft.
  • Sarah’s mom refuses to confess to witchcraft, insisting the judges need to see beyond the lies of the young girls making the accusations.

That, my friends, is the gist of the story, and now I’ll tell you why it’s so good.

The author hit so many things spot on.

Sarah is jealous of her cousin and aunt’s relationship, how much more touchy feely it is, but she eventually realizes the extent of both of her parents’ love for her, even if it’s not in ways she expected.

And the way the author described the jail cells! I could feel the dampness and darkness and thought I could even smell the odor that wafted from the jail. Er…that might have been the homeless guy sitting next to me on the bus, but whatever.

An excellent book about family, love, good and evil, courage, and standing up for what you believe in. The characters leapt off the page and I felt like I was watching a movie, not reading a book.

I challenge you to not be touched by this book.

Rating: 91 out of 100

The following are the blog stops for The Heretic’s Daughter:

September 1 – Devourer of Books
September 5 – Anything That Pays… A Freelance Writer’s Blog
September 8 – Literarily
September 10 – Writers, Witches and Words… Oh My!
September 12 – Book Room Reviews
September 15 – Something She Wrote
September 17 – She Reads Books
September 19 – Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?
September 22 – Presenting Lenore
September 26 – Sharp Words
September 29 – Write Now

Other reviews: Reader for Life, lit*chick, Library Queue.

| Tags: , , , 22 comments »

22 Responses to “Review – The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent”

  1. Eva

    Best. Picture. Ever. :p


  2. Christine

    For those who are interested, I also interviewed Kathleen Kent!


  3. Debbie

    I hope no books were harmed in the taking of that picture! Too cute.


  4. Jill Pinheiro

    You make me LOL…the picture, and the commentary underneath, was a great Friday morning source of amusement for me!

    Great review…going on my TBR list…


  5. Yasmin

    Wow…great endorsement! I’m off to get more information about this book and request a review copy for APOOO.


  6. wendyrobards

    LOL, Trish – I love the photo of your drowning in books…that’s the way I feel much of the time. I also LOVED this book and can’t believe that I waited like two months to read it after it arrived in my mailbox as an ARC!!


  7. Ti

    That should be a new category for BBAW “Funniest Blogger Pic Ever”. You are TRULY drowning in books! My pile has gone a bit out of control too but not nearly as bad as yours!


  8. bookroomreviews

    Terrific review and by the way You should have won that contest for your picture it is so funny!


  9. softdrink

    You know….Kathleen Kent will be at the expo in San Jose.


  10. Tricia

    I left you an award. 🙂


  11. Ladytink_534

    I’ve heard so much about this book! I’m not drowning in books… at least not exactly lol. Maybe dog-paddling.


  12. CB James

    Love the picture. I should do one. We should all do one.

    Looks like fun, too.


  13. Anna

    I’m dying to read this book! I’ve heard so many good things about it!

    I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t drowning in books!


  14. Carrie K.

    I love this one, too. I like your picture, too. I’m afraid to take a picture of my to-be-read stack, because I keep them stuffed in lots of different places around the house so my husband doesn’t realize quite how many there actually are. 🙂


  15. Literary Feline

    That is a great photo! I feel like that right about now. 🙂 I am looking forward to reading this one someday. It’s at the top of my wishlist as a matter of fact.


  16. tammywiz

    Ooooh, sounds good! Have to add this one to the (long) TBR list.

    Great blog, BTW – I’ll book mark it.


  17. Lenore

    I need to take a picture like that too – great idea! And I totally agree that you felt like you were in that cell while reading!


  18. Corinne

    I loved this book too!! I don’t so much know about blog stop tours, but my review is at



  19. iubookgirl

    Thanks for linking to my review! I really enjoyed this book too.


  20. Swapna

    I have this one sitting on my shelf, and you definitely made me want to read it next! Great review!


  21. Kathleen Kent - The Heretic’s Daughter « Fyrefly’s Book Blog

    […] Reviews: Books and Cooks, The Book Nest, Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?, Presenting Lenore, Reading in Appalachia, Trish’s Reading Nook, Bookish Ruth, Devourer of […]

  22. Dawn

    I just finished reading this book. LOVED it! Now I’m in a Salem-type mood. Will be moving on to Susannah Morrow next.


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