Sunday 26 April 2020

#BlogTour The Wheelwright's Daughter by Eleanor Porter

Today it's an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Wheelwright's Daughter by Eleanor Porter.
About the Author
Eleanor Porter has lectured at Universities in England and Hong Kong, and her poetry and short fiction has been published in magazines. The Wheelwright's Daughter is her first novel.

Follow @elporterauthor on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads, Buy The Wheelwright's Daughter

About the book
Can she save herself from a witch's fate?

Martha is a feisty and articulate young woman, the daughter of a wheelwright, living in a Herefordshire village in Elizabethan England. With no mother Martha's life is spent running her father's meagre household and helping out at the local school whilst longing to escape the confines and small-mindedness of a community driven by religious bigotry and poverty.

As she is able to read and is well-versed in herbal remedies she is suspected of being a witch. When a landslip occurs - opening up a huge chasm in the centre of the village - she is blamed for it and pursued remorselessly by the villagers.

But can her own wits and the love of local stablehand Jacob save her from a witch's persecution and death...

I'm going to say this right from the get  go - the title of the book may imply a certain kind of read, but it is in fact so much more.

Yes it tells the story of a convoluted romance in Elizabethan times, however it also speaks of scaremongering and profiteering in times of great unrest. Of a young woman who battles daily with the fact that being different makes her a target. Her knowledge, talents for healing, the fact she can read and write does nothing to dispel thoughtless and often dangerous rumours.

It's historical fiction, an intricately drawn picture of distorted fear and victims of group hysteria.

I really enjoyed the way Porter used the village people and their fears almost like a scythe swinging from one side to the next. Sometimes catching the crop and sometimes not. Martha doesn't comprehend the danger of gossip and the times she lives in, which when combined with her affinity to use herbs and her refusal to put up with the gossip and slurs -  makes her a prime target. The herd needs someone to blame when nature makes itself known and death comes calling.

Kudos to Porter for the ending. It's the kind you read, then read again. It's almost cruel to leave the reader with such uncertainty and yet simultaneously with complete certainty too.

This may be the author's debut novel, but by George it certainly shouldn't be her last. Porter is a writer and a storyteller, and not everyone is both.

Buy The Wheelwright's Daughter at Amazon UK on Kindle  Paperback and Audiobook or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Boldwood Books; pub date 21 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Boldwood Books.

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