My book review of 'The Witching Tide' by Margaret Meyer
It's Suffolk in 1654 and Martha Hallybread, a midwife, healer and servant, has lived peacefully for more than 40 years in her beloved Cleftwater. Everyone in the village knows Martha but no one has heard her speak.
One morning, Martha witnesses a witch hunt, led by the sinister new arrival Silas Makepeace. As a trusted member of the community, Martha is enlisted to search the bodies of the accused women for evidence. But while she wants to help her friends, Martha also harbours a dark secret which could cost her own freedom.
Margaret Meyer was inspired to write 'The Witching Tide' when she chanced across a small exhibition in Aldeburgh's Moot Hall detailing the women involved in the witch hunts of the 17th century. Imagining the horrors of this time, of suspicion and persecution, Margaret wanted to use her novel to tell the stories of the women who had been written out of history, and to hold up a mirror to the world in which we live now.
This is a fabulous book, wonderfully atmospheric and sensitively told. Margaret is fascinating to hear speak about her characters and story development as well as how her varied careers have led her to this point, seeing her first novel attracting international attention and acclaim.
It's not a subject I would normally choose to read about but this is sensitively and intelligently written, and I thought it brilliant!