Monday, 14 October 2013

Witch Child - Celia Rees

Title: Witch Child - Celia Rees
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Series: Witch Child #1
Release Date: 04/06/2000
Pages: 234
Format: Paperback

Rating: ★1/2

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Pages from a journal are loosely sewn into a quilt. A quilt that lies undisturbed for more than three hundred years until it is carefully that apart for cleaning and out if its folds falls a powerful and moving story. The story of Mary – granddaughter of a witch.

Give me one word…

Why do you say that?

'Witch Child' is set back in the 1600s and follows the story of Mary Newbury. Mary is a 14 year old girl who lives with her grandmother in England. However that all changes when her grandmother is accused of being a witch and is hanged.

With instruction from her late grandmother, Mary’s story takes her across the ocean as she pretends to be a Puritan within a congregation. It’s thought that she will be safe with them. For the first portion of the book we join her on her journey across the sea. The voyage hints at witchcraft and superstition before landing in the town of Salem and venturing on to Beulah.

Mary’s constant trips into the forest where she (secretly) meets with natives and her close friendship with some of the people in the town do not hold her in good favour. When things start to happen around town that the pastors and elders can’t explain they need to find someone to point the finger at and the easiest solution? A witch.

I really enjoyed 'Witch Child' and found myself hooked from the very start.

The character of Mary is strong and independent and yet she has to be cautious in case she is found out for what she truly is. The supporting characters of Martha, Jaybird and Reverend Johnson were also well rounded and realistic.

It was interesting to see the events of the town being described. The Reverend Johnson is held as more of a prophet than a mere mortal. Also the description from the native Indians about how they had been forced out of their settlements intrigued me.

The book is split up into sections and the chapters into entries. Although there are a few of Mary’s entries that are slightly more boring and I felt could have been left out that would have defied the point. This is meant to be a journal and so if she felt it was important then it was mentioned.

If you are looking for a book containing spells and wands then this might not be for you. But if you are interested in old rituals, fleeting visions and odd happenings that can’t be explained then I suggest you pick this up.

Overall I felt that Celia Rees’s 'Witch Child' was what a historical fiction should be. Interesting, informative and leaving you questioning if it’s real.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Part Time Job Vs University

I recently decided to not take on a part time job. For me, this is a rather big decision since I have held a weekend/part time job since the age of 16.

When I first got a job it was a massive push from my parents. I was not so bothered about working and more worried about the fact that I would be losing my weekends. It was my free time to revise and spend time with friends and now the majority of that time would be spent doing something that would not be as fun. However I quickly realised that earning money gave me some independence. I wasn’t going to my parents and asking them for money because I had my own. This was more beneficial when I passed my driving test and got a car.

 I have held a number of different jobs, from fashion retail to personal care. The latter was definitely the most difficult but also the most rewarding. That being said, I guess that every job has its pros and cons.

Jobs have also brought me a range of different experiences, including being able to handle an owl. 

The reason I am choosing not to find a job this year is because this is my final year in university. Now, I know a lot of people will say ‘Well it’s all about time management. If you really wanted to you could hold down a job and your education.’ True. If you look at the past few years I have been able to do that. But for me, this year is too important to be stretching myself thin.

My timetable has a lot of free time but all that is dedicated to lab work. And on the odd occasion, like this weekend, that I am on top of all my assignments and lecture notes I would like to be able to just sit back and spend time with my family and friends.

So yes, I know some people might think that the decision to not have a job is a bit of a cop out but not every individual is the same. I would rather focus on my academic career this year because there will be plenty of time for a job in the future.