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Kathleen Kent Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Heretic's Daughter (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wolves of Andover aka The Traitor's Wife (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Outcasts (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dime (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kathleen Kent is bestselling American author if historical fiction, literature and fiction books. She is famously known as the author of Heretic’s Daughter, a story about the Salem Witch Trials and Carries family. Kent was born and raised in Dallas before joining the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating from college, she relocated to New York where she worked in commodities and then worked for the United States Department of Defense, traveling mostly in the Former Soviet Union.

In 2000, Kathleen returned to her native home in Dallas and began writing novels she had always wanted to write since childhood- the story of her grandmother, Martha Carrier back nine generations- who was hanged in 1692 as a witch in Salem. Kathleen’s debut novel is based is somehow based on those tales passed down through generations and has been a New York Times bestseller novel both in paperback and hardcover. Published in many countries across the globe, the novel won David J. Langum Award in 2008 for the best American Historical Fiction books. The author’s second novel The Wolves of Andover tells about the story of Thomas Carrier and was published in 2010.

Miss Kent’s stories have been inspired the stories told to her by her grandmother about the Carrier family legends. Her grandmother told her beautiful stories and not only about Salem Witch Trials but also about personal courage and the hardships of Martha and her husband, Thomas. Heretic’s Daughter is written in the first person point of view narration, by Martha’s child to allow for the continuation of the novel especially after Martha Carrier the protagonist is hanged. There is so much that takes place even after she is hanged on the allegations that she is a witch- people still get imprisoned.

The Heretic’s Daughter

It is a fact that Salem Witch Trials remain to be among the most familiar of the unhappy and dark chapters in American history, which has provoked a constant trickle of non-fictional and fictional accounts. In 2016, Stacey Schiff revisited the sad history of the witch hunt in her exhaustively and a meticulously detailed non-fiction book, The Witches: Salem 1692, just eight years after Kathleen Kent published a fictional account of the same history titled The Heretic’s Daughter.

Kathleen Kent’s fictional account of the Salem witch trial is narrated by Martha’s daughter, a woman in her seventies, remembering her experiences as a ten-year-old girl in the early 1690’s. She tells at length the day to day experiences that make up ordinary lives- those who would eventually be subjected to the gallows where indeed ordinary people. People who spent their time sowing, reaping and keeping up with neighbors and not gathering up, the eye of newt, the tongue of dog and wool of a bat. For those who love reading the “history” – from a fiction perspective, Kathleen Kent offers a good recipe for 1690s New England life.

However, from the start, it is clear in the mind of the readers of what will eventually befall some of the characters at the hands of fellow men. In the midst of the 1690s everyday life, the readers can track the inevitable, the small signs of evils to come which will haunt these folks in ways that the readers already know. Martha is “brave woman” and dangerously independent-minded- not good “traits” for a woman in Puritan circles. The author, Kathleen Kent does a beautiful job in creating rivalries, antagonism, petty slights, in her debut novel, The Heretic’s Daughter.

The Wolves of Andover

The Wolves of Andover is the first book in Carrier series by Kathleen Kent set in 1673 Colonial Massachusetts. The story introduces the readers to Martha Allen a young woman in her early 20’s as she accepts to work for her cousin pregnant with her 3rd child. When tending to the daily chores of the house, she is drawn to a man working in her cousin’s farm. Thomas Carries is a strong, tall and Martha can’t resist the desires to be with such a man. However, Thomas has some dark secrets buried deep in his past, secrets that will put not only him but also those he loves in grave danger.

The Wolves of Andover was published in 2010 and is somewhat a companion novel to Kathleen Kent’s debut novel, The Heretic’s Daughter, even though the novel can be read as a standalone book. The book traces the relationship between Thomas Allen and Martha Allen, the parents of Sarah Carrier first introduced in The Heretics Daughter.
Martha, the main character is a free-thinker, a hard-headed woman of colonial Massachusetts. Bay Colony, is unmarried at the age of 19 and fear the loss of independence through marriage. It takes the efforts of Thomas Carrier to persuade her that a relationship with this man will be a union of two equal hearts and mind.

The chapters in the novel are narrated alternating between Martha’s life as a servant to her bad-tempered married cousin. To the story featuring a group of hired killers by King Charles II to hunt and bring justice the person responsible for the death of his father, Charles I. the killer was a member of the Cromwell’s New Model Army, extremely strong and tall. His real name was Thomas Morgan believed to have changed names after leaving England and now goes by the name Thomas Carrier.

The main highlight of this book was the exploration of the Puritan life and how this society worked. The reader gets the chance to explore how Thomas and Martha could create a new beginning together, given the limitations of their positions in the Puritan society and the restricted pathways for the advancements in their life. The complexity of Puritan family life, the fear contributed by the harshness of the New World environment, and the importance of the church in society all contributed in creating a lush background for both Thomas and Martha’s relationship.

The relationship between Martha and Thomas is beautifully done. They both respect and adore each other, not only because of their strong attraction towards each other but also because of their opinions, life goals, and thoughts. They are two individuals who life has played them; they both experienced the harshness of life and set out to build something good for themselves.

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