Jun 072011

The Betrayal of Maggie Blair by Elizabeth Laird
Rating: 4/5
Source: Review copy from Houghton Mifflin via Netgalley
Links: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads, Author’s website

Maggie Blair is sixteen when she is accused of being a witch along with her grandmother. While her grandmother is hanged and burned, Maggie escapes and runs to her uncle’s farm. But there is no peace these as her uncle is arrested for refusing to convert to Catholicism. Maggie sets out to find and help him.

This was a beautiful flowing story about the hardships Maggie faced. Her life up to this point had been difficult, and during the story it became so much harder. I felt an overwhelming sadness for her that anyone should have to suffer so much for no reason.

Maggie is not one for sympathy though. She is a strong person, and survives everything she faces. She only questions why she must suffer a few times. Most of the time she is more concerned with the welfare of others.

I was surprised at the actual focus of the book. I thought it would be more concerned with the witch trial and those accusations. It actually focussed more on the religious side: the Catholic persecution of the Protestants. This focus was still interesting, it was just unexpected.

There is an afterword where the author reveals she based the book on her ancestors. There was a Hugh Blair in her family who was arrested for religious reasons. There was also a Margaret Laird who was accused of being a witch. These details really bring home the fact while the author wrote a fiction story, the actual events played out for real several times in the past.

  4 Responses to “The Betrayal of Maggie Blair”

  1. I just honestly have to say the cover of this book is gorgeous. I haven't heard too much about it, but I liked your review and I'm actually thinking about putting it on my tbr at a later time list. 🙂


  2. Thanks for the thoughtful review. This one doesn't sound like one I'd particularly like but it does sound like a sad tearjerker. I found you through the Small Blogs Big Giveaway blog hop and am now a new follower.
    Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews

  3. Thank you for the interesting thought provoking review.

  4. Thanks for stopping by and for pointing me in the direction of your review. I've been looking forward to reading this for months now, and it sounds as though it is going to be as fascinating as I had hoped.

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