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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

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Cunning Women

by Elizabeth Lee - £14.99  Cornerstone (2021)
hardback    ISBN 13: 9781786091161 | ISBN 10: 178609116x

When it is no longer safe to be a witch, they call themselves cunning.
 
1620s Lancashire. Away from the village lies a small hamlet, abandoned since the Plague, where only one family dwells amongst its ruins. Young Sarah Haworth, her mother, brother and little sister Annie are a family of outcasts by day and the recipients of visitors by night.
 
They are cunning folk: the villagers will always need them, quick with a healing balm or more, should the need arise. They can keep secrets too, because no one would believe them anyway. When Sarah spies a young man taming a wild horse, she risks being caught to watch him calm the animal.
 
And when Daniel sees Sarah he does not just see a strange, dirty thing, he sees her for who she really is: a strong creature about to come into her own. But can something as fragile as love blossom between these two in such a place as this? When a new magistrate arrives to investigate the strange ends that keep befalling the villagers, he has his eye on one family alone. And a torch in his hand.
 
Cunning Women is the powerful reckoning of a young woman with her wildness, a heartbreaking tale of young love and a shattering story of the intolerance that reigned during the long shadow of the Pendle Witch Trials, when those who did not conform found persecution at every door.

(Price & availability last checked: April 2021)

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