“Harrowing… In the hands of a master storyteller like Bohjalian, [Hour of the Witch is] an engrossing tale of a woman who insists upon the right to navigate her life, and the consequences when she does.”


Just finished The Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian. Audio version.
This is a story about Mary Deerfield, a young woman married to Thomas Deerfield. Her father is a prominent businessman in the colony and he imports goods to be sold. Mary has no children, though she desperately wants one. Her relationship with her husband is not good and he is verbally and physically abusive to her. He has a previous marriage which ended when his wife was killed in an accident.

When Thomas goes too far with his physical abuse Mary decides to divorce him, but in order to do this there must be a trial and she must prove the abuse she claims her husband has used against her.
As this is Boston in 1662, the thought of witchcraft is never far from people’s minds, and when claims of witchcraft are raised by the Deerfield’s indentured servant, things start to change for Mary.

This story brings out the atmosphere of how it must have been in Massachusetts at this time with Witch trials being very prevalent.
The story is told from Mary’s point of view and is told well enough to hold your attention. Some twists and turns heighten the tension and adds to the enjoyment of the story. The narrator on the audible version does a credible job, with some assistance from other speakers who take on very briefly some of the other characters in the book. A good summer read.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 23rd July 2021

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Richard Franco