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Hexenhaus - Nikki McWatters

Paperback Published: 31st October 2016
ISBN: 9780702254253
For Ages: 15 - 18 years old

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A powerful historical novel about three young women caught in the hysteria of their own times.

In 1628, Veronica and her brother flee for their lives into the German woods after their father is burned at the stake.

At the dawn of the eighteenth century, Scottish maid Katherine is lured into political dissent after her parents are butchered for their beliefs.

In present-day Australia, Paisley navigates her way through the burning torches of small-town gossip after her mother’s new-age shop comes under scrutiny.

About the Author

Nikki McWatters has had an adventurous life from television acting to working for a billionaire to being homeless and living in a tent with her young family. The one constant in her life has been her passion for the written word. After completing a law degree in 2009, she changed her mind about her career direction and dared herself to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

After a shortlisting at the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards exactly one year later in 2010, followed by a memoir published in 2012, a young adult novel in 2014 and a new one ready to go in 2016 ... she finally feels like she's on the right path.

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Immersive, gut-wrenching and intelligent!

4

"You can go to church every Sunday and bow your head and pray and be a monster just the same" 'Hexenhaus' is a work of historical fiction exploring the witch trials across Early Modern Europe and the psychology that perpetuates such horrific acts. The story weaves together the lives of three teenage girls from different periods in history - 17th Century Germany, 18th Century Scotland and modern day country town Australia - who are each condemned by their communities for witchcraft. A surprisingly thoughtful, nuanced and powerful read, the author examines the hysteria that led to the persecution of thousands of people, primarily women, during these witch hunts, and contrasts this with how such a mentality translates into the contemporary day. This is such a sadly poignant and haunting story, in parts quite difficult and painful to read, that is ultimately about fear culture, social conscience and the excuses that are used in order to other and oppress those who are different. Well written, compelling and incredibly confronting, this book does so much with the subject matter. It is a deeply relevant story, despite the historical setting, with important parallels to modern attitudes that cleverly examines the danger of unjustified mistrust and hatred that leads society to accuse and persecute innocent minorities. Whilst I found the beginning a little slow, the dark atmosphere coupled with an undercurrent of tension, danger, paranoia and suspicion draws you deep into the story. The use of alternating perspectives worked really well, making it impossible not to become invested in each characters harrowing and horrifyingly real experiences, and I really adored the way the theme of sisterhood was layered throughout the story. A disturbing yet fascinating look at an important part of history from the perspective of three strong, loyal and determined women. Well worth the read.

Australia

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Excellent read

4

I enjoyed this book. While marketed as a YA book it will also appeal to adults with an interest in history. Evocative writing, and I felt drawn into the stories of the two historic women living through the witch trials.

Australia

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Fascinating! Moving! Unputdownable!

5

This was a great read. Well researched. Very interesting subject. I loved the three main characters and really could not put this down until I was finished and then I was sad because I wanted to read more. The writing was beautiful and the story powerful.

Sydney

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Hexenhaus

4.3 3

100.0

ISBN: 9780702254253
ISBN-10: 0702254258
Audience: Children
For Ages: 15 - 18 years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Published: 31st October 2016
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0  x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Number: 1