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Red Runs the Witch's Thread by Victoria Williamson - Review and Blog Tour

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Hello and welcome to my blog for my stop on the blog tour for Red Runs the Witch's Thread. I hope you like my review and I invite you to click around a little bit and read some of my other reviews. I've read a lot of Victoria Williamson's books now and enjoyed all of them so when I saw there was another of her books on tour I grabbed at the chance! I was lucky enough to receive a paper copy of this book and it came with some other goodies too, including a raven necklace, a mini sewing kit, and some sweeties! Amazing, it really brightened up my day so thank you!

First of all I'm not really sure where to put this book in terms of genre. It's kind of got a Young Adult feel to it even though the main characters are adults. I think that's partly because there are flashbacks to when the main character, Christian, was a small child. The book is set around 1720 and I really liked the historical setting. Victoria is good at historical fiction and makes it feel accessible to a modern reader. 

She is now thirty something and she is a widow. She has had to move back into her childhood home, with her mother and her two sisters. She is trying to perfect the art of bleaching thread, so that her thread would be the finest in the land and she can sell a lot and regain her family's fortune. She is a lady, after all, but the family has been on hard times since the death of Christian's father three years previously. Christian is sending herself a bit mad with the soap and the lye and the sun bleaching of the thread, but she is determined to do it. But everyone in the house is a bit wary of Christian because of what happened when she was a child. Christian is aware of this but also thinks she's being stalked by the ravens which come to the window and haunt the house and gardens. She begins to have flashbacks of what happened before and it's clear madness is taking its hold on her. 

The parallel narrative tells us what happened when Christian was little. She fell ill and accused several people in the area of being witches. Eight people were condemned to death and Christian and her father went to watch them being hanged. Since then she has never had a monthly bleed, making her barren, which shortened the list of men who would marry her... And now it is now and she is carrying a lot of guilt around. Christian's youngest sister is desperate to get married but Christian's reputation may stop that. A potential suitor comes to visit, and everything goes really wrong. 

In all I liked the story; I liked the setting and Christian and her sisters (the other one is really mean and spiteful, which is actually quite funny within the story), but I wish we had seen a little more of her mother. Christian's descent into madness is all too real and I really liked it. I did guess the twist around two thirds of the way through, but I thought it was set up really well and done well. 

Thank you for having me along! 

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