Cunning Women

Elizabeth Lee

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'Witches and the dread they inspired are captured here with chilling deftness.' Woman and Home

' A powerful story of forbidden love ... a tense and atmospheric ride' Daily Mail

'Timely in its depiction of hysteria and persecution, and beautifully evokes a historical period poised between dark ignorance and long-overdue enlightenment.' Observer

'A thrilling read. But, beyond the thrill, is the beauty of the language . . . A pleasure to read - with an undercurrent of genuine fear' Annie Garthwaite, author of Cecily
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When it is no longer safe to be a witch, they call themselves cunning.

1620s Lancashire. Away from the village lies a small hamlet, abandoned since the Plague, where only one family dwells amongst its ruins. Young Sarah Haworth, her mother, brother and little sister Annie are a family of outcasts by day and the recipients of visitors by night. They are cunning folk- the villagers will always need them, quick with a healing balm or more, should the need arise. They can keep secrets too, because no one would believe them anyway.

When Sarah spies a young man taming a wild horse, she risks being caught to watch him calm the animal. And when Daniel sees Sarah he does not just see a strange, dirty thing, he sees her for who she really is- a strong creature about to come into her own. But can something as fragile as love blossom between these two in such a place as this?

When a new magistrate arrives to investigate the strange ends that keep befalling the villagers, he has his eye on one family alone. And a torch in his hand.

Cunning Women is the powerful reckoning of a young woman with her wildness, a heartbreaking tale of young love and a shattering story of the intolerance that reigned during the long shadow of the Pendle Witch Trials, when those who did not conform found persecution at every door.
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'Wonderfully original . . . devastating . . . and fabulously atmospheric' Elodie Harper, author of The Wolf Den

'A haunting tale with a brutal twist' Emily Brand, author of The Fall of the House of Byron

'An impressive debut . . . beautifully relevant'
Kate Mascarenhas

'Beautiful, tense (at points breathless!)' Kate Sawyer, author of The Stranding

'I'm delighted that there's already been a lot of buzz about this debut' Marian Keyes

ISBN: 9781786091178
Publication Date: 04-May-2021
Publisher: Penguin Random House