Book Review: The Traitor's Wife by Kathleen Kent

The Traitor's Wife is the forerunner story to The Heretic' Daughter. The Traitor's Wife is aptly named for the main character Martha Allen. She is the mother to Sarah that is the main character and voice in The Heretic's Daughter. The year is 1673 and our characters live in Billerica, Massachusetts. Martha is in her 20's, and takes a job (begrudgingly) as a domestic servant in her cousin Patience's home. Patience and her husband Daniel have 2 children and one more on the way. Patience is in her 5 month of pregnancy and she seems to be in a constant state of retched nauseousness. Upon Martha's arrival she observes that the home has been neglected and is filthy. Patience has not had the grit to over-see the management of the home and farm. Daniel is away often on business. Martha on the other hand is a force to be reckoned with. She has a reputation of being outspoken, bold, fiery, intimidating, stubborn, and contrary. Martha and Patience have a stand-off on that first day. Martha understands fully that from that moment on, the future tone of her days of will be set. There are 2 men that work on Patience and Daniel's farm: "a Scotsman named John and a Welshman named Thomas." Thomas we will learn through the story has a past that has followed him to this new world. The pivotal history of Cromwell and his swarthy army in England is brought forth in The Traitor's Wife. Thomas is a quiet and reserved man in his late 40's, he is recognized at first sight as a man of height and strength. Although it is in what he does not express and withholds behind his gaze that is a mystery. Between Martha's bold, fiery, determined personality and Thomas' incredible size versus his cool restraint-----I was held captive by these 2 people that seemed drawn to each other.
The original title of the book was The Wolves of Andover, named for the problem with wolves attacking livestock on Daniel and Patience's farm.

I have loved both books The Heretic's Daughter and The Traitor's Wife. Neither story is a "roses and sunshine" disposition. Rather they are gray-clouded and a bit chilly tales of a rugged harsh life in early America. The somber characters seem bleak and pale and certainly guarded. Yet, the author displays their humanity through their actions, even if much of their actions are done out in the open with timidity.
Link for my previous review for The Heretic's Daughter:
http://impressionsinink.blogspot.com/2011/11/book-review-heretics-daughter-by.html

Published September 2011 by Reagan Arthur/Back Bay Books
Link @ publisher:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780316068642.htm
352 pages
Fiction/Early American History/Puritan



Authors site:
http://www.kathleenkent.com/

Authors blog with information about her new book:
http://visitwithkathleenkent.wordpress.com/

Link @ Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Traitors-Wife-A-Novel/dp/0316068640/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336666392&sr=8-1
Paperback $10.32
Kindle $9.99

Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I like books that don't gloss over how hard life really was in earlier times. Look forward to reading both of her books!

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  2. Hi Annette - thanks for following my blog! I loved this book and I loved The Heretic's Daughter even more. You've provided a very thorough and thoughtful review here. I'll be watching for more reviews.

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  3. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Blogging can be a Lone Ranger profession. I appreciate your gracious comment.

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