Title: The Burning
Author: Laura Bates
Pub date: April 07, 2020
Genre: YA Fiction
“We are the granddaughters of the witches you could not burn. And we’re not putting up with it anymore.”
Anna and her mother make a new home in Scotland hundreds of miles and a new country away from the home she grew up in. Told from the perspective of Anna Clark as her and her mother navigate a new life together without her father, who has passed away, trying to put her past of online sexual harassment and abuse by her friends and school mates behind her. They hope by erasing all of Anna’s social media, and moving, the problem will go away on it’s own.
They move into an old cottage by the sea, which Anna finds once belonged to a woman accused of witchcraft, and their stories begin weaving together from there, with Anna having troubling, vivid flashbacks of the woman’s life.
While I am not the target audience for this book, as a woman, I connected to it in more than one way. The readers are taken down the paths of two women, while hundreds of years apart, find themselves in similar situations, discovering just how powerful, and detrimental a rumor can be. This book would be beneficial for any woman to read, with a powerful story that is relevant to our day and age, and deals with the many faces of abuses young women have to deal with, Online bullying & Harassment, Slut-shaming, rape, victim blaming, just to name a few. These topics are dealt with in the present day of Anna’s life, and the life of the accused witch that lived hundreds of years ago.
I found the way Bates weaved the women’s stories together quite lovely, and the “visions” not only fit within the book at perfect times, they fit the story so well that both of the narratives had my heart breaking for these girls at the same time.
This book is a slow burn, taking quite some time for the reader to discover just exactly what Anna was running from in her previous life, and while I enjoyed this book, I found it incredibly tedious waiting for the author to unravel the details. I was expecting more of a climax, an AH-HA moment that felt like it never came to fruition, and the story just fizzled out. All in all it was an ok debut that dealt with important subject matter relevant to girls in our day and age, however I felt that it fell flat for me in more ways than one.
**Thank you Netgalley and publishers for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
The Burning will be available on April 07, 2020