You may remember, a couple of months ago, I read and reviewed Remember to Love Me and then proceeded to interview the author, Becky Wright, who is absolutely lovely. You can read my review here and my interview with Becky is here. Becky released short story The Manningtree Account a few months ago but it was only available on Kindle at first. Since I can’t currently read ebooks, I couldn’t immediately grab a copy. Therefore, I was delighted when she decided to release an extended version of the story as a paperback, titled Daughters of the Oak.
Here’s the blurb:-
1646 – The English Civil War. The Royalists of King Charles I, and Cromwell’s Parliamentarians, battle, both eager to lay claim to a tattered country, where life has become cheap and death trivial.
Though, for the lowly commoner, a greater, far more devious, war rages. It threatens the souls of the weak, timid and needy. Seeking refuge in the Lord’s word, God fearing folk employ the skills of one man, the Witchfinder. His success speaks of his talent, to seek out, punish and rid the countryside of Witches, the Devil’s Whores.
2016 – A paranormal team are called to investigate, as poltergeist activity brings terror to one family. Under the cover of darkness, in silent suburbia, an endless night of battle against evil ensues, until finally, a new day dawns.
Lies, secrets, and treachery, it seems, are never forgotten.
Welcome to Manningtree…
All it took was the word ‘witches’ for me to be instantly intrigued. I don’t know why but I have a bit of a morbid fascination with witch trials, so this book sounded right up my street! I knew I would have to include this in my spooky October reading list.
I really loved this darker offering from Becky – who would have known that, after the sweet story that was Remember to Love Me, she could write such a creepy tale?! I particularly enjoyed the scenes in 1646 as Becky really captured and conveyed the sinister atmosphere of the witch trials perfectly. Matthew Hopkins was a despicable character and I was really impressed that the author could make me feel such strong emotions towards someone who really doesn’t get a lot of page-time.
The blending of the two time periods was seamless and I loved the way everything linked together. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the modern-day scenes as much but they were actually really good and the way the story connected was brilliant. I don’t know how much of the modern stuff, if any, was included in the original short story but I’m really pleased that Becky decided to extend it. It worked really well.
The only thing that stopped this being a 5-star read for me was that I got a little confused at points about who was who; there were a lot of female characters and sometimes I struggled to differentiate between them. (Totally could have been my tired brain though!) I also had a couple of questions at the end that were left unanswered – but I’m hopeful that this means we may get a return to Manningtree at some point?!
A perfect spooky read for October, this is an original and deliciously dark tale from a wonderful voice in historical fiction. I gave this one 4.5/5 stars and definitely recommend it for anyone looking for something a bit creepy and different!
Has anyone else read this one? Anyone else got a morbid fascination with witches? Recommend me some good witchy books!