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  • Sphere

The Hemlock Cure: A glitteringly dark historical novel of ambition, persecution and survival

Joanne Burn

2 Reviews

Rated 0

Historical fiction

A glitteringly dark historical novel of love, persecution and survival, set against the backdrop of one of British history's most terrifying episodes

'Vivid and poetic' JENNIFER SAINT
'Exquisitely written' SONIA VELTON
'Page-turning' SUSAN STOKES-CHAPMAN
'Heart-wrenching' REBECCA F. JOHN
'Wholly original' SARAH BURTON
'Exquisite' EMMA CARROLL
'Bewitching' ROZ WATKINS
'Beautiful' ANNIE GARTHWAITE
'Spellbinding' NIKKI MARMERY
'Mesmerizing' ROSIE ANDREWS

It is 1665 and the women of Eyam keep many secrets.

Isabel Frith, the village midwife, walks a dangerous line with her herbs and remedies. There are men in the village who speak of witchcraft, and Isabel has a past to hide. So she tells nobody her fears about Wulfric, the pious, reclusive apothecary.

Mae, Wulfric's youngest daughter, dreads her father's rage if he discovers what she keeps from him. Like her feelings for Rafe, Isabel's ward, or that she studies from Wulfric's forbidden books at night.

But others have secrets too. Secrets darker than any of them could have imagined.

When Mae makes a horrifying discovery, Isabel is the only person she can turn to. But helping Mae will place them both in unspeakable peril.

And meanwhile another danger is on its way from London. One that threatens to engulf them all . . .

Based on the real history of an English village during the Great Plague, The Hemlock Cure is an utterly beguiling tale of fear and ambition, betrayal, self-sacrifice and the unbreakable bond between two women.

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Praise for The Hemlock Cure: A glitteringly dark historical novel of ambition, persecution and survival

  • Deeply unsettling, tense, yet ultimately hopeful, The Hemlock Cure sweeps the reader up into its potions, scents, colours and secrets. It is affecting and beautifully observed - a mesmerising novel.'

  • Spellbinding . . . a dazzling act of reclamation of the truth of women's lives . . .This is a compassionate and intensely moving novel that is rich in meaning and hugely resonant for our own plague-struck era.

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