The Familiars: A Novel
Fleetwood Shuttleworth, the seventeen-year-old mistress of Gawthorpe Hall, is expecting a child in early-seventeenth-century England. Having lost two children already, she is anxious to protect this one, the child she hopes will finally be the heir she so desperately wishes to provide to her husband. In The Familiars, Stacey Halls creates a world so engrossing that Fleetwood’s pains and struggles feel like your own, and all you want is for her to succeed, at any cost.
England is rife with political unrest and women are paying the price in the form of witch trials. Midwives and healers—trained for centuries by their ancestors—are deemed witches, and rounding them up is seen as a sign of allegiance to the king. These witches are charged with having familiars, animals that are connected to them by magic, and all of them are under threat from the reach of King James I.
Against this backdrop, Fleetwood is ailing, her illness from pregnancy exacerbated by the absence of her husband, who travels for a work she does not fully understand. As the novel opens, she meets a young woman, Alice, who will help her through what will become the most trying days of her life.
Both a novel of witches and women’s strength, The Familiars is a beautiful and otherworldly story that you’ll wish goes on long after the last page is turned.
|Page Count||352 pages|
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