The Witching Tide
East Anglia, 1645. Martha Hallybread, a midwife, healer and servant, has lived for more than four decades in her beloved coastal village of Cleftwater. Everyone knows Martha, but no one has ever heard her speak.
One Autumn morning, the peaceful atmosphere of Cleftwater is shattered by a sinister arrival and Martha becomes a silent witness to a witch-hunt. As a trusted member of the community, she is enlisted to search the bodies of the accused women. But whilst Martha wants to help her friends, she also harbours a dark secret that could cost her own freedom. In desperation, she revives a wax witching doll that she inherited from her mother, in the hope that it will bring protection. But the doll's true powers are unknowable, the tide is turning, and time is running out . . .
An immersive and deeply moving novel inspired by true events, The Witching Tide breathes new life into history whilst holding up a mirror to the world we live in now. A story of loyalty and betrayal, fear and obsession, the impact of misogyny and the power of resistance, it is a magnificent debut from a striking new literary voice.
‘The Witching Tide is propelled by the utter conviction of the writing, in prose that is both stylish and raw. Martha seizes the reader’s sympathy and does not let go.’ Anne Enright
‘Utterly haunting and entirely riveting; this is an unflinching account of the horrors of witch trials, told in a mesmerising voice from an extraordinarily talented author. It sent shivers down my spine and brought me to tears.’ Jennifer Saint