The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
– Review by Wendy at BookLoverCircumspect4
State – Connecticut
Synopsis from Goodreads–
Orphaned Kit Tyler knows, as she gazes for the first time at the cold, bleak shores of Connecticut Colony, that her new home will never be like the shimmering Caribbean island she left behind. In her relatives’ stern Puritan community, she feels like a tropical bird that has flown to the wrong part of the world, a bird that is now caged and lonely. The only place where Kit feels completely free is in the meadows, where she enjoys the company of the old Quaker woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond, and on occasion, her young sailor friend Nat. But when Kit’s friendship with the “witch” is discovered, Kit is faced with suspicion, fear, and anger. She herself is accused of witchcraft!
The Witch of Blackbird Pond is an historical novel and a love story. The main character, Kit, was raised by her grandfather in Barbados. When her grandfather dies, she leaves Barbados on a ship named the Dolphin to find her aunt and uncle in Connecticut. Needless to say, her aunt and uncle doesn’t know that she is coming.
Upon her arrival to her Aunt Rachel and Uncle Mercy’s home in Wethersfield, Connecticut, where she also has two cousins, Mercy (who is handicapped) and Judith. Kit’s life is far different from her life in Barbados, where she is forced to do chores and attend church, which she clearly hates. Kit becomes happier when she and Mercy began teaching the younger children in her town. An incident happens at the school and it is shut down, and Kit runs away and she meets Hannah Tupper, an older lady that has been outlawed from the colony. While visiting Hannah, she again runs into Nat Eaton, son of the captain of the Dolphin, and Kat falls in love with him.
A deadly illness sweeps through the town and Hannah is accused of being a witch and is to be killed. Kit warns Hannah who escapes with the help Nat and his boat. The town is also accusing Kit of being a witch and she must prove her innocence when Nat returns to Westherfield.
Does Nat return help Kit? Is Kit found to be a witch? Or is she able to escape Connecticut and return to Barbados? You will have to read the book.
I give this book three out of four onions. This book is rich in American history and is a commonly read book for older grade schoolers. It also has a nice mixture of romance, politics and suspense. It really is a good read especially for young adults.