The Familiars
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The Familiars

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Description

The most spellbinding debut novel of 2019

In a time of suspicion and accusation, to be a woman is the greatest risk of all . . .

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn't supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong.

As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the north-west, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye?

Soon the two women's lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood's stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

'Assured and alluring, this beautiful tale of women and witchcraft and the fight against power was a delight from start to finish' Jessie Burton, author of THE MINIATURIST

'The Familiars is an intricate and sensitive portrayal of a brave, tenacious young girl carving her place in the world. A must-read novel' Heather Morris, bestselling author of THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ

'I read this in just over a day - I was completely hooked! An intriguing story about a fascinating period of history and brilliant female characters' Libby Page, author of THE LIDO

'A wonderful novel, enthralling, spellbinding, terrifying, full of twists and turns, written with heart and style - and the final chapters will have you racing to the end' Kate Williams, author of THE STORMS OF WAR
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 38mm | 513g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1785766112
  • 9781785766114
  • 421

Review quote

I read this in just over a day - I was completely hooked! An intriguing story about a fascinating period of history and brilliant female characters. * Libby Page, bestselling author of THE LIDO * A wonderful novel, enthralling, spellbinding, terrifying, full of twists and turns, written with heart and style - and the final chapters will have you racing to the end. A brilliant novel about a true story - and a real mystery. * Kate Williams, author of THE STORMS OF WAR * So pacy and brilliantly creepy * Juliet West, author of BEFORE THE FALL * The Familiars is an intricate and sensitive portrayal of a brave, tenacious young girl carving her place in the world. A must-read novel * Heather Morris, bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz * Fast-paced, twisty and immense fun * Anna Mazzola * SO SO good . . . you had me hooked * Nina Pottell, Prima * A debut to look out for, one of these books that once you start reading, you cannot put down * The Fountain * I see it becoming one of my favourite books of all time * Whatever Ruby * An outstandingly captivating book which weaves its magic around the reader throughout * Beady Jans Books * Historical fiction at its feminist best -- Cyan Turan * RED Magazine * The new Hilary Mantel... meticulously researched, beautifully written * Cosmopolitan * Haunting and beautiful * Lia Louis, debut author of Somewhere Close to Happy * The Familiars by Stacey Halls is a debut to look out for, one of these books that once you start reading, you cannot put down -- Galina Miteva * The Fountain * Fluent, well paced and beautifully imagined, this is a real treat for anyone who enjoys historical fiction- and also for all those who do not normally choose this genre. Highly recommend, and Halls is definitely a writer to watch * Bibliomaniac * Hugely fascinating, and riveting in the way it's written * Book Sundays * An accessible piece of historical fiction that casts a light on not just the witch trials but on women's rights, or lack thereof, during that particular era * Culturefly * Painstakingly researched, this is an enthralling debut -- Jennifer McShane * IMAGE Magazine * The novel is enriched by a visual dimension, with marvellous evocations of period clothing, the details of interiors, the food eaten and the appearance of the characters themselves. The reader is given colour, texture and light in relationship to both human activity and the landscape; descriptions which are sometimes quite lovely, and sometimes very graphic images of appalling poverty and destitution * Bridport Times * The Familiars is an accessible piece of historical fiction that casts a light on not just the witch trials but on women's rights, or lack thereof, during that particular era * Culture Fly * I've just read The Familiars by Stacey Halls and enjoyed it immensely. I don't know much about the C17th witch trials so was really gripped. I loved the bravery of the heroine and wonderful period detail * A J Pearce, author of DEAR MRS BIRD * It is captivating as it entwines with your life, yet infuriating as you realise how few rights Women had * Sh*tbookreviews * Hugely fascinating and riveting in the way it's written * Booksundays * The writing is incredibly fluid, pitch perfect with just the right amount of lyricism * The Book Family Rogerson * This book gets under your skin! So pacy and brilliantly creepy * Juliet West, author of THE FAITHFUL AND BEFORE THE FALL * This book is phenomenal. Already wanting to re-read it. Beautiful, haunting, strange and evocative. Loved every single ruddy page * Liz Hyder * magical storytelling and totally captivating * amwbooks * An outstandingly captivating book which weaves its magic around the reader throughout * Beady jans Books * I see it becoming one of my favourite books of all time * Whatever Ruby Reads * The atmosphere of the time was perfectly recreated I felt, and found this historical fiction taken from fact enjoyable reading from start to finish * Mrs Blogg's Books * It's a proper page turner that kept me engrossed throughout . . . Do expect well researched history brought to life through some serious attention to detail. Halls definitely knows her stuff and she works her factual knowledge into the text with a light touch * Shelfobsessed * Gripping * The Observer * Halls has written a beautiful, well researched book. It's like a rich tapestry and you can almost feel the atmosphere and tension... The story felt authentic. Not only is it well researched and heavily peppered with actual events and people, it's an incredibly engaging story... This is an outstanding story. I devoured it. If there's one book you need to pick up this February it's this gorgeous book * LipSquid Book Blog * Not a fan of historical fiction? Prepare to change your mind... Fierce, feminist and properly fabulous * FABULOUS * The most spellbinding debut novel of 2019 * Gardners Select * This is spellbinding historical fiction * Psychologies * A gorgeously written novel that I couldn't put down once I started it. . . I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, especially Laura Purcell's novels * Lyra Silvertongue Reads * I thoroughly enjoyed it. It left me feeling enthralled with parts and spellbound by others * Whisperingstories * Spellbinding historical fiction * Psychologies Magazine * Fierce, feminist and properly fabulous * Fabulous Magazine. The Sun * Compelling storytelling * Prima * a truly spellbinding debut * Good Housekeeping * A stunningly beautiful, courageous read. . . deceptively powerful, moving and provocative, Stacey Halls writs with an eloquent pen. Opening a window into a vivid feast of a read, as a debut novel The Familiars stands out from the crowd * Love Reading * Man alive this book has some buzz and rightly so. . . it's got it all: The Pendle witch trials of 1612, female bonding, an addictive mystery and a story based on real events (always a winner). . . Enjoy, people, enjoy * Stylist Magazine * Engaging novel * RED Magazine * The Familiars by Stacey Halls is historical fiction of the highest order . . . well worthy of the hype * Sunday Telegraph Magazine * a beguiling and beautiful debut novel * Fabulous Magazine * Come for the draw of the witch trials, stay for the story of a noblewoman in a prison that was England in the 17th century * The Irish Times * A really compelling story * Janice Forsyth, BBC Radio Scotland * I loved The Familiars so much. Hypnotic * Joanna Cannon * One of the years most trumpeted debuts * Grazia * Breathtaking, emotional and powerful in every sense of the word. The Familiars by Stacey Halls is a stunning portrayal of fear, friendship, truth and betrayal of power and I have no doubt that this will be on every 2019 book of the year list at the end of this year . . . The Familiars by Stacey Halls is a masterpiece and I cannot wait to read more from this talented author * Books of All Kinds * The Familiars is a feminist tour-de-force, spiced with frissons of supernatural, brimming with local history, and opening up a fascinating female perspective on the plight of the woman who faced degradation and death in a dark corner of Lancaster Castle * Lancashire Post * It's superbly produced, a thing of genuine physical beauty but, most importantly, the writing is immense and mesmerising * Fully Booked * Fresh, deliberately uncluttered writing typifies a strong, confident debut with a perennially absorbing subject as its focus * The Daily Mail * An enchanting and promising debut * HEAT Magazine * The Familiars is a poignant, enthralling, and extremely rich story about friendship, self-discovery, injustice, heartbreak and betrayal. It kept me hooked from page one and I devoured it as quickly as it devoured me * Parabati Reviews * "A beautiful story based on the Pendle witch trials of 1612 makes for a fine debut. 5 stars" * The Sun * A strong debut. . . Stacey Halls tells a spirited tale * The Times * This adventure paints a fascinating portrait of the perilous position of women in the 1600s * The Sunday Mirror * The Familiars is as rich in content as its cover is in beauty. Historical accuracy balanced with imagination. Exposition never weighing the book down. Tremendous characterisation and absorbing storytelling combined with appreciative nods to Du Maurier's Rebecca * Lizzy's Literary Life * This book is beautifully written. I was very quickly drawn into the landscape of Gawthorpe Hall and the surrounding countryside. I was eased into Fleetwood's everyday life, and every time I had to put this book down I looked forward to when I could pick it up again * Rebecca's Rave Reviews * Dramatic, moving, and richly atmospheric * My Weekly * An enchanting story, conjured from real historical events * BEST Magazine * At the warm heart of this captivating novel is Fleetwood, a young woman who must overcome superstition and a controlling, untrustworthy husband in order to do the right thing * Sunday Express * an arresting piece of fiction * The Times *
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About Stacey Halls

Stacey Halls grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire, as the daughter of market traders. She has always been fascinated by the Pendle witches. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and moved to London aged 21. She was media editor at the Bookseller and books editor at Stylist.co.uk, and has also written for Psychologies, the Independent and Fabulous magazine, where she now works as Deputy Chief Sub Editor. The Familiars is her first novel.
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Rating details

351 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 30% (107)
4 48% (167)
3 19% (65)
2 3% (11)
1 0% (1)
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