The Familiars (Hardback)

Stacey Halls


Stacey Halls' debut novel The Familiars is all about how being a woman in a time of suspicion and accusation could put you at risk.

17-year-old Fleetwood Shuttleworth finds a letter she isn't supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth and discovers she would not survive another pregnancy.

She crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, the young midwife who helped her give birth to a healthy baby - and together they decide to prove the physician wrong... Set during the Pendle witch trials of 1612, this is a powerful, important and bewitching read for anyone who loves historical fiction.

Product Details

  • Product code: FMLR
  • ISBN: 9781785766114
  • Publisher: Zaffre Publishing
  • Format: Hardback
  • Dimensions: 22.4cm x 14.4cm
  • Pages: 432
  • Publish date: Mon Feb 04 00:00:00 GMT 2019

Customer Ratings


Customer Reviews

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Loved it! -

The Familiars written by Stacey Halls is a story based on a true historical timeline and real-life people, namely Fleetwood Shuttleworth, born in 1595, who was a woman of gentry and mistress at Gawthorpe Hall. It is a work of fiction based on the premise of the Pendle witch trial in Lancaster 1612 and sadly highlights the plight of women disproportionately targeted as part of witch hunts during the time period set.

I'm generally not drawn to the 1600s as a story setting but I do have to admit that the inclusion of witches and the infamous trial did spark my curiosity as I've always been intrigued by witchcraft. I did overall enjoy the story, if a little lightweight, and I would have possibly enjoyed reading some chapters from Alice's point of view as she stood accused but generally the slow pace and atmospheric setting did provide a feeling of being transported to the setting of the story.

The ordeals and suspicions that fell upon women who were probably no more than 'wise women' who used nature to help cure ails and treat pregnant ladies was very sad to read and the author covered these tragic events professionally.

With a truly gorgeously printed hardback cover to the book, this is worth every penny to adorn any bookshelf and I would happily recommend, it is slow but engaging and well written which leaves you asking 'was she or wasn't she?' and I wish the author every success with this surefire bestseller for 2019.

4 stars.

Miriam Smith , Thu Feb 14 18:44:54 GMT 2019

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5 of 5 people found this helpful. Did you?    Yes | No

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