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Cunning Women

Elizabeth Lee



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Windmill Books
04 May 2021
A searing story of forbidden love and the curtailing of female wildness set amongst the long shadows cast by the Pendle Witch Trials.

When it is no longer safe to be a witch, they call themselves cunning.

Seventeenth-century Lancashire is a dark and mistrustful place. Ten years after the notorious Pendle witch trials saw ten accused witches hanged, young Sarah Haworth and her family live as outcasts in a ruined hamlet. The inhabitants of the nearby village despise 'cunning folk' like them, but their services - healing balms, herbal remedies - will always be in demand, and they have a way of coming to know all the village's secrets.

A chance meeting sees Sarah become acquainted with Daniel, a young man from the village. In him, she sees a clever, caring man; in her, he sees not the strange, dirty outcast he knows he should, but rather the strong young woman coming into her own.

As they are drawn closer together, a new magistrate arrives in the area to investigate a spate of strange deaths befalling the villagers. Inevitably, his eye falls on Sarah's family, and his hand carries a burning torch. In the face of persecution, something as fragile as love seems impossible...
By:   Elizabeth Lee
Imprint:   Windmill Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 215mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   433g
ISBN:   9781786091178
ISBN 10:   1786091178
Pages:   332
Publication Date:   04 May 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Elizabeth Lee won the Curtis Brown Creative Marian Keyes Scholarship, and her work has been selected for the Womentoring Project and Penguin's WriteNow Live. She lives in Warwickshire.

Reviews for Cunning Women

A haunting tale with a brutal twist. -- Emily Brand, author of THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF BYRON An impressive debut . . . anyone who roots for the underdog will fall for Sarah . . . beautifully relevant. -- Kate Mascarenhas Beautiful, tense (at points breathless!) historical fiction with meticulously researched description. I loved it. -- Kate Sawyer, author of THE STRANDING Wonderfully original . . . devastating . . . and fabulously atmospheric too. -- Elodie Harper, author of THE WOLF DEN The pleasure of the novel lies in the tension between the familiar story of patriarchal injustice and a more complex investigation of supernatural belief and disbelief. It's a thrilling read. But, beyond the thrill, is the beauty of the language. Lancashire dialect and vocabulary are used to immense poetic affect, disarmingly evocative of time and place. The characters too, are well drawn and multi-faceted and its closure is both deeply satisfying and truly sad. A pleasure to read - with an undercurrent of genuine fear. -- Annie Garthwaite, author of CECILY

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