Friday, January 21, 2011

Literary Friday: The Wolves of Andover

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This week I read The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent.  Last year, my Dixie Diva Book Club read Kent's first book, The Heretic's Daughter.  I was not real happy about the selection because I had just finished The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. Both Howe and Kent are descendants of women hanged during the Salem Witch Trials, and both books are about the authors' ancestors.  I enjoyed both books, and I am truly glad I read both because they are nothing alike. When I heard that Kent had written the prequel to The Heretic's Daughter, I asked my husband to buy it for me for Christmas because I wanted it for our family library.

The Wolves of Andover explains many of the family secrets hinted at in The Heretic's Daughter. Martha Allen, the main character in The Wolves of Andover (and the accused witch in The Heretic's Daughter), is sent to live with her cousin Patience and her husband as a household servant. They have two young children, and Patience is expecting her third. Martha is unmarried, and her shrewish demeanor and independent streak is unlikely to attract a husband.  The cousins have also employed a mysterious Welshman named Thomas Carrier and his younger Scottish friend, John.  When Martha is attacked by a wolf, horrible memories surface, and Thomas senses that she is hiding secrets.  He recognizes a kindred spirit because he is hiding secrets of his own.  Thomas fought for Cromwell during the English Civil War, and rumors are whispered that a tall Welshman executed King Charles. As Charles II sends his agents and spies to the colonies in search for those responsible for regicide, will the network of colonial spies alert Thomas before it is too late?

Kathleen Kent does an incredible job researching Colonial America.  She is one of my favorite historical fiction writers.  In both books you see, hear, taste, feel, and smell the harsh, day-to-day living conditions.  I enjoyed learning so much more about Martha and her character; how she met Thomas; their secrets; and how they both fell in love with each other.  I also noticed Martha's intuitive gifts a few times.  Please do not mistake this book as simply a romance.  It is not for the squeamish, and Kent does not shy away from writing extremely violent scenes. She also has a gift for poetic justice that will make you smile.

I  love this book, and now I want to go back and re-read The Heretic's Daughter.

What are you reading now?  I would love to hear from you!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

5 comments:

  1. It sounds a little too scary for me, but I'm going to put these books on my list :) I'm reading "Leaving Mother Lake" for book club this month. Great book so far.

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  2. O it sounds great, i did not know the author.
    I now reading a book of karin slaughter "broken"
    I really love Thrillers but also love to read al kinds of books, I love the joanne Harris books, they are a little mystical.Do you know the book of Natasha mosterd Beachwolves, it is a beautiful novel.
    But i don't know if you can get it.

    greetings and enjoy rereading your book ;-)

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  3. Wow. That sounds like some intense reading! I'm still enjoying the Grace Livingston Hill windfall I won on ebay a few weeks ago. Vintage, simple and my speed.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  4. That sounds so fascinating. I am reading nothing of worth lately so maybe I will pick this up. I know my MIL would love it as it is right up her alley and she just got a kindle for Christmas.

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  5. I am currently doubled booked; I am reading "What Is This Thing Called Love?" by Gene Wilder which is a collection of short stories about different types of love. Who knew Gene Wilder could write. The second book is "Photoshop Elements 4.0." I know that Photoshop Elements 9 is out but I am teaching myself and I find that starting with a simpler older version is best.

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