Catching a Witch: A Novel of Loyalty, Deception, and Superstition
by Heidi Eljarbo
What Would You Do to Save Your Best Friend from Burning?
The year 1660 is when it all changed…
That’s when a witch-hunter comes to Clara Dahl’s seaside village in Norway. She’s horrified to discover how fast her neighbors and friends are to turn against each other. She soon realizes her sleepy, little, picturesque corner of the world has been invaded by evil—and it has nothing to do with witchcraft.
As neighbor turns against neighbor, Clara finds herself drawn into the fray, forced to do what she can to protect her friends and loved ones. An educated and upstanding minister’s daughter, Clara speaks out against the witch-hunter’s unjust treatment of those accused of witchcraft. She sees how he plays the villagers, using their superstitions and religious beliefs to make good people accept horrible things.
When Clara’s best friend Bess is accused of being a witch, Clara must make an incredible sacrifice to save not only her friend, but the entire town… before it’s too late.
About the Book
In 1660, women had no voting rights, couldn’t own property, and were treated as second-class citizens. If that weren’t bad enough, many innocent women—especially poor women—were tried and executed for witchcraft. The people responsible for their deaths were often their own friends, family members, and neighbors.
Catching a Witch is a story about a young woman who’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the people she cares about most in this world.
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2z20U8m
***Also available on Kindle Unlimited***
~5 ++++ Stars~
Catching a Witch has to be one of the most riveting books I’ve read this year. It’s a historical fiction novel based on true events in history, the witch trials. This particular novel takes place in the mid-1600s in a small village in Norway. It realistically captures the sad and horrific time in history when many innocent people lost their lives, many were women.
The book is unique in that the chapters features different people in the small seaside village. Most of it is told through Clara. She is the daughter of a pastor and is returning to the village after her father died. The town held happy, precious memories for her, so she is hoping she will find some peace and spend time with her best friend, Bess. Bess has a special talent. She uses herbs and plants to help heal ailing townspeople and has presided over many births. The more time Clara spends there she realizes something mysterious is going on. Weird questions are being asked about the women of town from the innkeeper. Things become quite clear with the arrival of a witch hunter is has come to rid the town of evil. Clara cannot believe what she is witnessing…the persecution of innocent women. She realizes she must do what she can to stop this evil, not from the supernatural but from a very human source, before it’s too late.
Even though the book takes place hundreds of years ago, readers can still learn very important lessons. It questions why seemingly intelligent, rational people can follow a leader like sheep to a slaughter. Most people, not all, in this seaside town are good people who want the best for each other. When the witch hunter comes to town, they begin turning on one another despite the fact that they have known each other for years. We face those same things today. We are quick to judge others and follow without finding out the facts ourselves. We sometimes don’t realize the road we are going down could be quite dangerous.
The author also highlights what it was like to be a woman at that time. They weren’t valued for their intelligence and were treated as property. Clara was a woman way before her time. She was educated and intelligent, not putting stock in superstitions that were common at that time. She was brave and courageous in her defense of the innocent women accused of witchcraft.
This was a fast-paced historical novel that is well worth reading. The characters were well-developed and complex, and that became evident with each chapter I read. Even though most of the book is told through Clara’s eyes, the other chapters give insight into other people in town. Through their POVs, readers will see what motivates each one. Some people I thought would not be helpful turned out to be great allies to Clara. Heidi Eljarbo’s writing is phenomenal. She wrote in a way that made me feel like I was an active participant in the story. I could clearly see each character and the setting vividly in my mind. Wonderful book! 5 ++++ stars for me!!!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Heidi Eljarbo grew up in a home filled with books and artwork and she never truly imagined she would do anything other than write and paint. She studied art, languages, and history, all of which have come in handy when working as a freelance writer, magazine journalist, and painter.
After living in Canada, six US states, Japan, Switzerland, and Austria, Heidi now calls Norway home. She and her husband have a total of nine children, ten grandchildren—so far—in addition to a bouncy Wheaten Terrier and a bird. They love to have the munchkins come and visit at the Duck and Cherry, their family dwelling.
Their favorite retreat is a mountain cabin, where they hike in the summertime and ski the vast, white terrain during winter.
Heidi’s favorites are family, God’s beautiful nature, and the word whimsical.
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