My mother, with clear insight into her daughter’s mind, first handed me this book as a young girl. Few books have so perfectly spoken to my personality and interests. As I re-read it this week for our upcoming epic Halloween book club, I recalled all the reasons I enjoyed it as a girl, all of which still resonate with my adult self.
Kit is one of my favorite female literary characters. She is strong willed, outspoken, curious, loving and sees people for what they really are instead of what society has labeled them. The relationship between she and Hannah, the old woman who lives by Blackbird Pond and has been labeled a witch by the quiet puritan town, is touching and reminds me of my own grandmas. Although there is not fantastical magic in this witch story, Speare taps into my favorite kind of magic: life in its purest, richest moments. And, of course, the sweet, but often troubled relationship with Nat, the handsome sailor, is memorable and romantic.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, with its simply beautiful writing and characters so real they step right off the page, was the first witch book I ever read and sparked a lifelong fascination and love of this genre. In fact, the book my literary agent is currently presenting to publishers (fingers crossed) is a young adult novel about witches and the kind of magic I’ve always dreamed of.
Thank you, Mom, for introducing me to this book, which has shaped a lifetime of reading and writing. I highly recommend it to all girls – young and old – who have the spirit of adventure running in their veins!
Tune in on Monday, October 3, for my Studio 5 book club segment on this book. I’ll talk about how to throw a Halloween witches party and book club all in one super fabulous evening. You’ve never seen a witches party like this!!