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A review of the book the witch of blackbird pond

I read this book as a teenager, let's just say that was more than 25 years ago, and it stands the test of time for being as enjoyable today as it was for me then. As the novel opens, year-old Kit Tyler is getting her first glimpse of Connecticut. It is cold and barren and very unlike her lush tropical Barbados, but Kit had few options. She is an orphan since the death of her grandfather with her only living relative her mother's married sister, Rachel Wood whom Kit has never met. Kit's unheralded arrival at her aunt's home is not exactly welcomed.

Her dour uncle Matthew Wood has been worn out by the hard work of farming in the harsh New England climate.

Top 100 Children’s Novels #36: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Her once beautiful aunt Rachel has rapidly aged and is care worn. Her cousins, the haughty Judith and meek, physically challenged Mercy, are intrigued by the arrival of their strange and colorful cousin with seven trunks of fancy dresses.

Matthew, however, makes it clear to Kit that her fine ways and fancy clothes are unbecoming in Wethersfield and she will have to learn to dress and work like the rest. Kit tries and the Woods suffer her attempts with a mix of frustrated hostility and tolerant acceptance.

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Meanwhile, romance is in the air. While Judith had set her cap for the wealthy William Ashby, his head quickly turned to Kit who is the most suitable match in Wethersfield for his elegant manners and breeding. Not to be undaunted, however, by the turn of events, Judith readjusted her cap for the quiet and scholarly seminary student, Tom Holbrook who arrived on the ship from Saybrook with Kit.

  1. To subscribe, click here. Speares, a born and raised New Englander, took great care in accurately using historic facts in her works.
  2. Kit reciprocates by introducing the Widow to Prudence, newly arrived and poorly cared for Kit befriended the child on shipboard. When a deathly sickness strikes the village, first Hannah and then Kit are accused of being witches.
  3. She is an orphan since the death of her grandfather with her only living relative her mother's married sister, Rachel Wood whom Kit has never met.
  4. Because Speare had been so thorough in her research and in the way she had pieced the book together, Cosgrave suggested only one minor correction before the book went to press.

Tom, however, finds himself attracted to the quieter and studious Mercy and she secretly to him, but Judith wants what she wants and Mercy convinced that she cannot compete with her vivacious sister refuses to voice her feelings for him. Kit, for her part, is hardly interested in William or his plans for building his fancy new home for his bride-to-be. Kit finds her escape in the meadows by the swamp and the aged Quaker, Widow Tupper.

  • The novel does a good job to illustrate the diversity in education levels, political views and religious affiliations, and views about witchcraft;
  • Particularly the romance novely ones like this;
  • Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews;
  • Mary Beth Hurt brings a wonderful sense of the Britishness of the early American colonies;
  • Unprepared for the religious intolerance and rigidity of the Puritan community, she is constantly astounding her aunt, uncle, and cousins with her dress, behavior, and ideas;
  • As the novel opens, 16-year-old Kit Tyler is getting her first glimpse of Connecticut.

The widow, like Kit is an outcast and it is not long before the Widow introduces her to another social outcast Nat Eaton, the son of captain who piloted the vessel from Barbados. Kit reciprocates by introducing the Widow to Prudence, newly arrived and poorly cared for Kit befriended the child on shipboard. Unfortunately, times are hard and getting hard. Governor Andros is eager to void the Colony's charter — if he can get his hands on it, that is.

The Indians are attacking the northern settlements and in a surprising plot twist, Tom enlists to fight the Indians. As winter draws on, a strange disease devastates the children of the settlement and cries of witchcraft can be heard. Who will fall under the charge of witchcraft? What will happen to Tom?

Who will finally marry and to whom? The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a wonderful blend of historic fact and romantic fiction. Speares, a born and raised New Englander, took great care in accurately using historic facts in her works. She makes sure that along with a dollop of romance and adventure the reader also gets a hearty helping of colonial history. Her portrayal of colonial life with all its predictable hardships hard work, repression, prejudices, etc.

The novel does a good job to illustrate the diversity in education levels, political views and religious affiliations, and views about witchcraft. Elizabeth George Speare was born in Massachusetts. She was educated at Smith College and Boston University. She was trained as a high school English teacher. She moved to Connecticut when she married in Though I had my first historical novel almost by accident it soon proved to be an absorbing hobby.

In she was presented with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for substantial and enduring contribution to children's literature. She then spent a year in London, where she performed with the Questers, a well-known amateur theater troupe. In she made her professional debut with the New York Shakespeare Festival, then went on to a very successful stage career on Broadway and elsewhere; she won two Obie awards one for her work in the play Crimes of the Heart and was nominated for a Tony for Trelawney of the Wells.

Her theater work impressed filmmaker Woody Allen, who cast her in a supporting role in her screen debut, InteriorsAllen's first non-comedy. Hurt has remained primarily a stage actress, appearing in films every two years or so. From she was married to actor William Hurt. She is now married to writer-director Paul Schrader, and co-starred in his film Light Sleeper The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare is a historic novel about young love, witchcraft, and coming-of-age in colonial Wethersfield.

Mary Beth Hurt brings a wonderful sense of the Britishness of the early American colonies. It filled my heart with longing at some of her evocative descriptions of warm cloaks, crackling fireplaces, and the smell of candle making.

It is a harsh warning about the devastation played by prejudice and superstition that is as current today as it was in This book is rated "Ages 9 and older". I highly recommend it. Interests in Mental Health: She is interested in the interplay between psychology, biology, and mysticism.

  1. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare is a historic novel about young love, witchcraft, and coming-of-age in colonial Wethersfield. Of course Lizzie Skurnick had to have her say about the book over at Fine Lines.
  2. Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology.
  3. What will happen to Tom?

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