The Familiars by Stacey Halls
Source: Publishers via Edelweiss
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy
Publication Date: February 7th 2019
“Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn¹t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.
When she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife, Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong.
When Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye?
As the two women’s lives become inextricably bound together, the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood¹s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.
Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other..”
My Thoughts & Review
The first time I saw this book I was drawn in by the beautiful front cover, and I knew I had to read it. Before starting this book I had got it into my head that this was going to be a fantasy fiction type of book with witches and spells. But I soon learned that even though this book is fictional it is actually based on true historical events and based upon real life people.
The Familiars is told in first person from the point of view from the voice of Fleetwood Shuttlewood, the mistress of Gawthorpe Hall, seventeen years old and pregnant for the fourth time.
Although Stacey Hall has done a great job writing this book, there are few little things I picked up on. For one some of the language used to tell this story did not quite fit with the time period in which this story is based on. Apart from these little writing errors I picked up on I thought the rest of her writing style was nice and easy to follow.
I really enjoyed the characterisation in this book. I found the two main characters Fleetwood and Alice very fascinating, and enjoyed reading how their relationship developed, especially as they were both so different. Although we hear a lot about Alice from Fleetwood, I wish we could have heard more from Alice’s character.
All in all a very fascinating and enjoyable historical fiction novel, that kept me wanting to read more. After reading this debut novel from Stacey Halls I can’t wait to find out what the author has to offer next.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a historical fiction fan, and even if you’re not I think you will still enjoy this one.
I would like to thank the publishers Bonnier Zaffre and Edelweiss for my review copy in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.
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[…] The Familiars by Stacey Hall – This was a re-read for me!! I first read an eARC of this back in August 2019. I really enjoyed this the first time and my opinions on this one hasn’t changed much. You can read my original review here. […]
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They’ve changed the cover design. Weird! I like more the one that goes with this post.
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Yeah I noticed that too. I like this cover better too. 😊
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