Book: The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Author: Elizabeth George Speare
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Basic plot: Kit arrives in the Puritan colony of Connecticut, which is a far cry from her home in Barbados. But with her grandfather dead, she has no choice. She and her aunt’s family both experience culture shock. In defiance of her uncle, she makes friends with the “Witch of Blackbird Pond” and soon finds herself the target of a witch hunt.
1) Speare writes an engaging historical novel. She gets the tone right… the rebellious nature of Kit pitted up against the Puritan community. And this book still has appeal for the modern reader (even though it was first published in 1958. Now, that’s a classic!)
2) I liked the complex relationship of Kit and Nat. How Nat is obviously drawn to Kit, and yet is confused by how to react to her non-conformist ways.
3) The “villain” of the story is set up quite nicely in the opening.
4) The uncle is well-characterized. **SPOILER: I like how he’s clearly one who opposes Kit throughout the story. Yet, in the end, he is redeemed. His character grows to accept her, even though she is so different. I hate it when books make the father-figure evil and awful with a good-riddance to bad rubbish. This book doesn’t do that. END SPOILER
5) I like Hannah Tupper, the Quaker (i.e. the Witch of the title). I thought her relationship to Kit was very touching. And her fragility as she ages was well-written.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) **SPOILER: Nat gets his own ship at the end of the story. I’m not crazy about the name he chooses. But it sort of makes sense. END SPOILER
My rating is 4.5 Stars (out of 5) – This book is actually a re-read for me. I read it as a kid. I must say I enjoyed it even more so as an adult! Which says a lot about a book. No wonder it won the Newbery.