Hour of the Witch Book Review

Hour of the Witch Book Review

Title: Hour of the Witch
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Published: May 4, 2021, Doubleday
No. of Pages: 416
Cover Price: $27.99 Hardcover, $13.99 Kindle

Bestselling author, Chris Bohjalian, has outdone himself with his novel Hour of the Witch. Mary Deerfield is just 24 years old and in the year 1662 is subject to the laws and superstitions of the time, including the possibility of being accused of witchcraft. Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a powerful man in their community. Thomas often gets into drunken rages where he exhibits cruel, evil behavior, such as poking a three-pronged fork through Mary’s hand. Mary seeks a divorce, and is shut down by the judges who are on her husband’s side; sort of a kangaroo court. Then Mary is accused of witchcraft by a servant girl, and is sentenced to die.

As is his usual approach to writing, Bohjalian has done tons of research, and by incorporating facts into this fictitious novel, makes the readers feel they are actually there and living what Mary Deerfield is experiencing. Bohjalian’s storytelling skills are excellent, and this novel is difficult to put down. In addition, Bohjalian develops his characters so that they are not only believable, but seem like real people. Hour of the Witch could easily be a biography of one of our forbears, since it rings so true. Mary is likeable, and the servant girl, who is scared and a victim of the times, causes undue problems due to the fact that she idolizes Thomas Deerfield and refuses to believe his cruelty is real.

Anyone who hasn’t read Chris Bohjalian’s novels is really missing out. Hour of the Witch is spellbinding, and will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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