I am slowly working my way through Burn Mark by Laura Powell but then realised that The Witch’s Tree by Elena Collins also fitted the bill and ticked off a Netgalley November Bingo as well.
What it’s about?
A tale as old as time. A spirit that has never rested.
As a love affair comes to an end, and with it her dreams for her future, artist Selena needs a retreat. The picture-postcard Sloe Cottage in the Somerset village of Ashcombe promises to be the perfect place to forget her problems, and Selena settles into her new home as spring arrives. But it isn’t long before Selena hears the past whispering to her. Sloe Cottage is keeping secrets which refuse to stay hidden.
Grace Cotter longs for nothing more than a husband and family of her own. Content enough with her work on the farm, looking after her father, and learning the secrets of her grandmother Bett’s healing hands, nevertheless Grace still hopes for love. But these are dangerous times for dreamers, and rumours and gossip can be deadly. One mis-move and Grace’s fate looks set…
Separated by three hundred years, two women are drawn together by a home bathed in blood and magic. Grace Cotter’s spirit needs to rest, and only Selena can help her now.
What I think:
This is essentially a story about two women, both betrayed by the men they love and the ways it changes their lives.
Serena has her heart broken when she realises her married lover is not at all the man she thought he was. Left emotionally and physically scarred, she retreats to a rented cottage in Somerset to recover and paint. The cottage has a reputation for being haunted, and Selena feels the presence of someone there with her, someone who she is somehow channelling through her painting.
In 1682, Grace Cotter is a young, hardworking, and caring woman. She has an affinity with nature and animals. But Grace’s knowledge of plants and how they can heal leads people to suspect she is a witch. In a small community at a time when witches are being hunted, she finds herself in a perilous situation.
Selena and Grace’s stories intertwine as Selena explores the local area and researches the story behind the cottages ghostly resident. The tree that dominates her painting is central to Grace’s story, and understanding the past will bring peace to the present.
This isn’t the type of story I would usually have gone for. But I really enjoyed it. The characters in both timelines are engaging, and the parallels between the two periods were really nicely done.
If you like historical fiction and dual timelines then I recommend The Witch’s Tree.
Thank you to Netgalley for gifting me the digital advanced copy.