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The witch's trinity : a novel
Erika Mailman
Adult Fiction MAILMAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A grandmother's family turns against her in Mailman's uneven debut historical about witch trials in 16th-century Germany. The people of Tierkinddorf, on the brink of starvation following years of bad weather and poor crops, suspect a witch has cast a spell on them. Under the guidance of a visiting friar, the townspeople burn at the stake a local healer. When their luck does not improve, attention turns to the healer's longtime friend, Gude Muller, the novel's narrator and a widow who lives with her son, Jost; her daughter-in-law, Irmeltrud; and their two children. Gude has been recently tormented with visions of witches and of the devil disguised as her late husband, and is uncertain whether the apparitions are real. When Jost and the other village men strike out on a hunting expedition, Irmeltrud begins, in her husband's absence, a campaign to finger Gude as a witch. Mailman creates an intense atmosphere of hunger, fear and claustrophobic paranoia, though the secondary cast is flat and Gude's mental state doesn't always allow for lucid narration. Fans of supernatural fiction will want to give this a look. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Unrelentingly grim in tone, Mailman's debut novel, inspired by the experiences of a distant ancestor in 1600s Salem, is set in the "second year of no harvest, 1507, Tierkindorf, Germany." Aging and arthritic, Gude Muller has become a burden on her family, at least according to her bitter daughter-in-law, Irmeltrud. Wondering if God has forsaken them, the starving villagers turn for help to a visiting friar, who tells them that according to the book Malleus Maleficarum (The Witch's Hammer), all their troubles are owing to witches in their midst. Gude's lifelong friend, Kunne, becomes an instant target for the villagers' hate. But burning Kunne doesn't seem to help matters. When Gude begins experiencing horrible visions, Irmeltrud is only too eager to accuse her of witchcraft. Gude is certainly a pitiable figure, as she is starving, abused, and probably suffering from senile dementia. However, her story isn't particularly original, nor does Mailman bring a fresh perspective to the oft-told tale of witch burning. Not recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/07; reading group guide available at CrownReads.com.-Ed.]-Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Gude Muller
Female
Widow
Town accuses her of putting a spell on them to cause the village bad luck; lives with her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren; haunted by visions of the devil disguised as her late husband; daughter-in-law sets out on a campaign to prove she is a witch.



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