The Witchfinder's Sister: The captivating Richard & Judy Book Club historical thriller 2018

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The Witchfinder's Sister: The captivating Richard & Judy Book Club historical thriller 2018

The Witchfinder's Sister: The captivating Richard & Judy Book Club historical thriller 2018

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I love books, I love theatre, and I love me a spooky atmosphere, so I was well happy to mosey along to this. I was certainly rewarded aesthetically. The production looks and feels fantastic. Libby Watson’s excellent set design cleverly divides the stage into rooms with door frames that stretch up into gallows and feature doors that are pulled up and dropped like guillotines, making manifest the sense of perpetual threat which hovers ominously overhead throughout the action. The handful of doorways and short staircases give a sense of small town claustrophobia, as well as upstairs/downstairs, and the gloaming effect created by Matt Haskins’s lighting wonderfully evokes the darkness of the place and season – England, winter, 1645 – as well as the chill and darkness of the pre-electrically lit world. The production looks wonderful and is well performed.

The Witchfinder’s Sister, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch Review: The Witchfinder’s Sister, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch

Ivy Boscawen is writing down her thoughts. The year is 1918-19, and her candle is waning. The time has come to write down all that happened at Polneath all those years ago, and to write about what happened after. I absolutely adored the secretive, atmospheric story-line. I often find if plots are gentle in motion, if the writing style isn’t quite ‘up to it’, I become a little bored when revelations take their time to unfold. But not here, I found it so immersive, the gothic feels, dark tension, cleverly haunting reveals, and characters so vivid in my mind, it made for some breathtaking reading. For Ivy is sure there is more to what happened all those years ago: the fire at the great house, and the terrible events that came after. A truth she must uncover, if she is ever to be free. Want to join one of the fastest-growing communities of UK indie horror fans and creators for FREE? Now you can!In the 1918 section, Ivy has married Richard Boscawen who is the coroner. She has always regretted not marrying the love of her life, Edward Tremain. She has recently found out her son has been killed in the war, and is determined to find out exactly how he died. When she reads in the deaths section of the newspaper that Edward’s son had died in the war she begins writing to Edward in the hopes of rekindling their friendship and perhaps take it further, now that her husband does not have long to live. There are two time lines in this story and two boys deaths, one a mystery. Ivy is the mother of one of the boys and the main character in the book. The story is told through her. This book took me two months to read despite my excitement after reading the blurb. The writing felt very lazy and inconsistent, even though it is just one character. Another issue with he writing is the exact way chapters set in 1888 and the ones set thirty years later sound. Do people think in the exact same words at 20 and at 50? I don’t think so. Dark an atmospheric as it may be, I found it interesting but a little too slow for my taste. It was quite obvious from the beginning that all characters had something to hide and although Ivy very bravely set out to find the truth, she's hindered by her own experiences and expectations.

The Witchfinder’s Sister – Mind the blog The Witchfinder’s Sister – Mind the blog

My verdict? A chilling show that links the 17th and 21st centuries in a truly terrifying way – atmospheric sound design takes the production to a whole new level. The conflicts were just not it. The entire time i was rolling my eyes at how whiny everyone was with everything. Like chill, y’all. It’s not even that bad.There are excellent performances from the whole cast, in particular George Kemp as the unflinching & single-minded Matthew, Anne Odeke’s independent (but surprisingly naïve) Rebecca, and Lily Knight’s portrayal of Alice – full of hope, passion & determination. All in all, a disquieting show that shines a light on a truly terrifying period in history – a story that feels startlingly relevant today. The Witchfinder’s Sister Thirty years may have passed but Ivy’s grief for Tim is mixed up with memories and dreams of young William Tremain, the boy who died. Actions were taken which had tragic repercussions and Ivy feels that she has to discover the truth to find some peace of mind. Told in split timelines, one in 1888-89 and one in 1918-19, we slowly uncover the truths behind what happened in the past and what's happening as a result in the present. Ivy's ready to reveal her secrets, and other players have their own secrets to share with us.

The Witch Finder’s Sister by Beth Underdown review

For Ivy is sure that there is more to what happened all those years ago: the fire at the Great House, and the terrible events that came after. A truth she must uncover, if she is ever to be free. The story is told from the point of view of Ivy Cardew who in 1888 is the daughter of the local doctor. He is struggling with his own health but carries on looking after his patients. We are introduced to many interesting characters including the family living in Polneath House and their few servants. An enjoyable, worthy and beautifully written follow up to a solid debut I feel. Look forward to seeing what comes next from the author. However, intriguing socio-religious theories are advanced as to why certain members of the upper classes pursued “witches” – mostly poor, vulnerable women – with such zeal. Alice, too, is superstitious, sensing malign entities and fearing the inexplicable. Once individual malice and grudge-settling have died out, some of the most vivid scenes are those in which the same hostility to perceived outsiders that spawned the witch-hunting craze begins to be directed towards its functionaries.Ivy Boscawen is grieving heavily for her son, she’s immersed within her emotions. He was killed in the war. However, at night Ivy mourns another soul that was lost far before his time which sadly was still in the innocence of childhood yet this death was a decade ago but still feels as if it took place only yesterday as those memories of the fire, her father being sent to help someone who had the task of keeping her charge, the poor boy in questions well-being and a certain individual who is far from innocent, all start to play more and more on her thoughts when the death of the boy will not rest.

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