I loved this book, and read it almost in one sitting! It’s atmospheric, creepy and actually really fun, in a spooky way.
It tells the story of a small town called Warboys, nestled in Britain, and the way that the entry of one beautiful woman tears the town apart. That woman is Agnes Samuel.
If you know your history, you’ll know that Warboys was well known a few hundred years ago for a witch trial of the Samuels family, in which three people, father, mother and daughter, were hanged. In this story, Agnes is back for revenge on the family who accused her, the Throckmortons.
Agnes is an interesting character, very charming, very beautiful, but very subtly cunning. I love the way that she worms her way in, and goes for the jugular. And since I found the Throckmortons nice but rather insipid, I really enjoyed the revenge she has on them, though I’m aware that you’re meant to side with them as the injured party. Into this mix, are thrown the other villagers, and a woman called Elizabeth, who is in love with Robert, who marries Agnes. This creates a great dynamic, especially as I didn’t really like Elizabeth. Can she stop Agnes? What are Agnes true intentions?
I guess that I felt sorry for the Samuels, who were accused of something they clearly didn’t do, and died for it at the hands of people they had trusted. But as a whole, the book works so well at creating mood, feeling, and mystery.
Read It If: One to look out for if you’re a fan of witch trial narratives like those out of Salem, or if you like spooky fiction with a bit of the supernatural thrown in.