September Book List

currently playing on my iPod: Nocturne by Debussy

Writing and its handsome friend, research, took center stage during my September, so I only read one new piece of fiction.

The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent — A historical fiction that feels very much like literary fiction, THD weaves the tale of a girl whose mother is sentenced to hang during the Salem witch trials.

I’ve read many books that hover about the whole Salem situation, but this one was different in that it was more of a family saga. As Kent detailed everyday life and the relationships between the family members, I found that I didn’t care if the witch trial ever actual appeared in the novel. I wanted to cheer on the heroine and hug her to my chest as she dealt with peer trouble and sibling rivalry. The trial felt secondary.

At first, I cringed at Kent’s writing because she uses comparison (metaphors, similes) so very often. I found a two page spread with four comparisons! That’s a lot of “like a” and “as a.” But she won me. She stayed consistent in her regular use of comparisons and kept them refreshingly original. I came to understand that this is her style. A bold style.

I can’t say that I would reread THD because of the heaviness of the writing and the dark subject matter, but I did find the characters oddly compelling and the word choices inspiring.

All in all, a great read.

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