Welcome to a new “Witch Book Wednesday” post. Every Wednesday, during the month of October, I am going suggest an atmospheric and witchy book you should definitely add to your October TBR.
Title: The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Author: Elizabeth George Speare
Genres: Young Adult, Historical
Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met.
Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.
Elizabeth George Speare won the 1959 Newbery Medal for this portrayal of a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.
I remember reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond in grade school and adoring it. During my recent reread, I was just as entranced as I was back then. Filled with American history truths and the hysteria of witchcraft, The Witch of Blackbird Pond provides a very realistic account of women’s placement in Puritan society. It was fascinating to see how men inculcated the ideas of how women should act, dress, think, worship, and behave.
In regards to the “witchyness” of the book, Elizabeth George Speare positions her main character as an outsider. Kit, an adolescent teen, moves from the warm and beautiful Barbados into an American colony where politics and religion are fiercely stamped into everyday life. Once in Connecticut, Kit’s world is turned upside down; she is even criticized for the being able to swim and read. But Kit never lets her “oddness” falter her ability to adapt to the new society, learning every chore she can to survive the harsh living conditions of the new world.
My favorite part of this book is the ending. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is a slow burn romance that fills the pages of The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and when that flame ignites, I was so ready to watch that ship sail.