When Jane’s lover, Tom, returns from the navy to find her unhappily married to his betrayer, Jane is caught in an impossible situation. Still reeling from the loss of her mother at the hands of the witch-finder John Sharpe, Jane has no choice but to continue her dangerous work as a healer while keeping her young daughter safe.
But, as Tom searches for a way for him and Jane to be together, the witch-finder is still at large. Filled with vengeance, John will stop at nothing in his quest to rid England of the scourge of witchcraft.
Inspired by true events, Sunwise tells the story of one woman’s struggle for survival in a hostile and superstitious world.
I’m going to jump right in and say that Sunwise had me totally hooked. I barely put the book down and because of that I read it in only one day. I’ll be honest, though… this story broke my heart but only books that really touch me have the power to do this and Sunwise was one of them.
Sunwise is the sequel to Widdershins, which I read almost exactly two years ago. I loved both books but I gotta say I think I liked this sequel a little bit more. It’s always great when a sequel trumps the first book. My favorite part of it was definitely the writing. It was amazingly written! I absolutely couldn’t get enough of it. I was practically inhaling it word for word.
Story wise I wasn’t left disappointed either. I don’t want to give away too much as to what happens. It’s kind of hard to relay it, especially since I don’t want to spoil the first book for those who haven’t read it yet either. What I will say is that I could feel the desperation and fear of the superstitious times of the 17th century. Especially with the chapters in the point of view of John Sharpe, the witch-finder. This again attests to how well this book was written.
I also highly enjoyed Jane’s point of view. I felt bad for her because she was in a situation that wasn’t her fault and didn’t deserve. I loved her for being such a good person, always trying to help other women and I was so rooting for her and Tom to make things work somehow. I’m not going to say if they do or don’t because again I don’t want to spoil things for other readers. What I can say is that I didn’t expect the ending at all. It was a bit shocking but even so I thought it was definitely gripping the way it ended.
Sunwise by Helen Steadman was a well-written and raw story inspired by true events. If you’re a fan of spellbinding historical fiction, then this is the book for you. I loved it and would recommend it for sure.
About the author:
Helen Steadman lives in the foothills of the North Pennines, and she particularly enjoys researching and writing about the history of the north east of England. Following her MA in creative writing at Manchester Met, Helen is now completing a PhD in English at the University of Aberdeen. When she s not studying or writing, Helen critiques, edits and proofreads other writers work, and she is a professional member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
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