Waiting on Wednesday: The Familiars


The Familiars

Written by Stacey Halls

432 pages

Published by Bonnier Zaffre

Publication date: 7th February 2019

Summary (from Goodreads):

The most spellbinding debut novel of 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 Fleetwood’s 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.

‘Assured and alluring, this beautiful tale of women and witchcraft and the fight against power was a delight from start to finish’ Jessie Burton, bestselling author of THE MINIATURIST

Why I can’t wait to read this:

  • I have always loved stories about witches and witchcraft, whether confirmed or suspected so this sounds interesting.
  • Reading Macbeth and about the witch trials in England during the reign of James I (trust me, it’s fascinating!) is both disturbing and enlightening as it shows so much of the vagaries of human nature and how susceptible we are to persuasion and finding patterns where there are none – a story set during this time of suspicion is bound to be brilliant!
  • I am interested in the role of the mistress, especially when she is unable to produce an heir. Even today, pregnancy carries a lot of risks so I can only imagine the stress and the strain of it in the 16th century!
  • I also enjoy reading about friendships between women – sounds like this book passes the Bechdel test!
  • What a gorgeous cover! I imagine that the cover will attract readers even if they aren’t already drawn in by the premise!

What do you think?

Does this sound like the kind of book you would enjoy?

Will you be reading this or do you have any other anticipated releases you would recommend to me?

Let me know in the comments!

See some other Waiting on Wednesday posts here:  When the Mountains Roared, The Exact Opposite of Okay, To Kill a Kingdom, StarfishThe Gloaming, The Smoke Thieves, The Way You Make Me Feel, The Queens of Innis Lear, Legendary, Nyxia UnleashedBright Ruin, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, Empress of All Seasons, Tempests and Slaughter, Grim Lovelies, The Glass of Lead and Gold, Storm Witch, The Way Past Winter, The Gilded Wolves, Fierce Fairytales, Descendant of the Crane. Dragon Pearl, Last of Her Name.

While you’re here, why not check out my reviews of The Hazel Wood, Tangleweed and Brine, Sanctuary, The Pretender or The Gilded King?

Find me on Twitter , Goodreads or Instagram

Thanks for reading!


31 Comments Add yours

  1. I adore this cover so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it gorgeous?

      Liked by 1 person

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