Friday, June 6, 2008

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

I’ve been muddling through a few “serious” books for the last few days, but I haven’t felt passionate about any of them. So yesterday, inspired by this week’s Book Buzz, I picked up Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

The book’s protagonist, sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler, leaves 17th-century Barbados to live with her aunt in Puritan New England. Not too surprisingly, Kit does not fit well in her new environment. She has been pampered and spoiled. She is a Royalist and an Anglican. She can swim.

Kit is not the ideal heroine for a 21st-century audience. She is selfish and an unrepentant former slave owner, yet Speare makes her a sympathetic character. Kit, a misfit herself, shows great strength as she adopts the town’s outcasts: an old Quaker woman, a neglected young girl, and a feisty sailor, Nat.

Witch is one of my childhood favorites. It was my introduction to literature and romance, and Nat may have been the first fictional character I fell in love with. Yet, this book is not the typical fairytale. Kit is not the perfect heroine, her relatives are not horrible to her, and Nat does not appear nearly enough.

I was not disappointed in this reread (though I could have used more romance). Speare is a good writer, and Witch is perfectly suitable for an adult audience. Plus, it is a fast and comfortable read. Now, where can I find myself a feisty sailor?

1 comment:

Wanna-Be Lit said...

Looking for a sailor now?