Review: Cunning Women by Elizabeth Lee

TitleCunning Women
Author: Elizabeth Lee
Page Count: 384
Published: 22nd April 2021
GenreFictionHistorical Fiction

TL;DR recommendation:
🤷‍♀️ Unsure/depends
Slow-burner that didn’t keep my attention

Anyone who knows me will be aware of how my mind works – you need to keep it entertained or I’ll wander off and get distracted no matter the punchline. This book is an AWESOME story but my attention? Wandered off into the damn hills. Here’s what you’re in for:

✨ People who possess witchy-like powers during the time of the Pendle witch trials
✨ Shitty neighbours hell-bent on accusing anyone of being in bed with the devil
✨ One doomed relationship (my poor heart)

Sarah’s mum is a witch which means she’s most likely one, too. And that means society is going to banish you to the outskirts and hound you at every given opportunity. This is a story about their daily hell. Reduced to sending the kids out begging every day, the rest of the Haworth family is left punting out their salves and potions to anyone with an ailment they’d rather not share with others. Under the cloak of healing warts and hives, Sarah battles with her dark side and tries everything to keep it hidden from the world. Not content with the one job of keeping half her personality under wraps, Sarah only goes and falls in love with Daniel; the farmer’s son and eligible bachelor number 1.

To add mayhem to an already chaotic world, a new magistrate saunters into town and he’s here to make his mark. You guessed it. Everything goes tits up, tensions run extremely high, accusations get thrown which ultimately leads to a disastrous end.

Right, so what did I love about this? A few things. Firstly, it’s about witches and that automatically gets my attention. Secondly, it’s a really well done story and one I honestly didn’t see coming.

The bits I didn’t like? It’s a slow-burner and it just didn’t keep my attention for long enough. I hate skim reading with a passion but here I was doing it.

If you like historical witch fiction and can handle a bit of a slower story, absolutely grab this.

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