Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare, HMH Books for Young Reader, December 1, 1958. 256 pages
This is one of my all-time favorites, simple, innocent, yet deep, meaningful, and thought-provoking.
Witch of Blackbird Pond the story of Katherine (Kit) a seventeen year old orphan moving from Barbados to Connecticut to live with her Aunt and Uncle’s family. Her journey takes place during a time when Puritans cities were popular in New England states, where unbelievers were witches, and outsiders were chased from towns.
Kit’s story begins with her travels across the ocean, her interactions with the Captain and his son Nat, and her abnormal behavior, pointing out her foreign attributes.
Once she arrives at her Aunt’s house she experiences a culture shock, the ocean water is cold, their family doesn’t have much, and she’s expected to contribute with the work load and attend their church functions.
Eventually, Kit meets an elderly woman named Hannah − a Quaker living on undesirable swamp land. Hannah has a frequent visitor in Nate, showing up when his ship docked in the area, completing difficult tasks for her.
By the end, the action builds, the romance blooms, and the friendships blossom: resulting in a compelling story worthy of a read…or two.
What I love about this story is the easy connection to Kit and how relatable her experiences are to everyone. Just living the teenage years can be like a culture shock! Always feeling as though no one understands you and finding comfort in the group of people who try.
The romance between Kit and Nate is provoking and sweet. I like the initial hesitation but eventual time taken to get to know each other. Even more attractive is Nate’s willingness to support her when she is practically alone.
I recommend this book to anyone wanting a quick read with intriguing characters and a compelling plot.
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