The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston

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February 15, 2017 by femvestige

I finished reading The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston in record time. A book about magic that weaves in and out throughout time is one of my favorite topics, so it was easy to become enthralled. You can see my content blog on this book here: A Tale Through Time.


‘The Witch’s Daughter,’ despite some glaring issues (to me), was a really enjoyable book. It follows the story line of a woman throughout time, weaving seamlessly from present day Elizabeth to varying time periods within Elizabeth’s timeline. We start with Bess (Elizabeth) in the mid 17th century with her family

We start with Bess (Elizabeth) in the mid 17th century with her family. Her tale is of plague, desire, devastating loss, witch trials, and hangings. Bess is a young girl of 16, trying to identify who she is and what she is. Love and family are at the root of this section; I could not put it down.


Back in modern day, Elizabeth meets a young girl named Tegan (16 or 17) who becomes interested in who Elizabeth is and how she lives her life. Elizabeth, a cagey woman who appears to be in her 50’s (though self-admits being 387 years old) is wary but agrees to take in Tegan and teach her the ways of the hedge witch. To assist in this process, Elizabeth weaves another tale to Tegan.

We are now with Eliza in the late 19th century, during the time of Jack the Ripper. Eliza is a doctor with her own clinic assisting prostitutes, while also working as an assistant to a renowned doctor in a surgery and school. During this time, Eliza falls in love while caring for a young dying woman. This section is full of time period patriarchy, love, and fear – with a touch of good old fashion murder.


At the end of the story, back in modern day, Tegan meets a boy and falls in love. Instead of committing to her studies like she promised Elizabeth, she spends more time with her new beau. Elizabeth is aggravated and begins to investigate. She discovers her worst fear and in an effort to save Tegan, tells her one last story.

Elise is a nurse in World War 1, assisting wounded soldiers in the resuscitation tent. In this time, surrounded by death and pain she finds love once more. She also finds fear and evil.

In modern day, Tegan and Elizabeth must join forces with each other and with other magical creatures to rid Elizabeth of the evil that has plagued her storyline for so long.

Overall, this story is quite beautiful. I absolutely adore historical fiction, and to have it intersperse so seamlessly with a present day story as well was outstanding. To that end, the present day story was not as interesting or intriguing to me as the past stories. I also could not get over some of the author errors such as the aging within the timeline, or the evil man she tried so hard to create a picture of. He seemed unreal and illogical to me, despite his consistent presence throughout the entire novel. I also felt that more time could have been spent on Tegan and her storyline and character development. I did not understand Elizabeth’s attachment to her because I wasn’t given enough to attach myself. Verdict: I enjoyed it and would recommend it to others. I would also probably read it again.

The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston:

Rating out of 5: ✮✮✮✮
 Mystery/Historical Fiction
Character Development: B
Best Feature: Weaving a story seamlessly between past and present
Character Development of protagonist Bess
Worst Feature: The age discrepancy
Unimpressive antagonist
Character development of secondary character



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