Falling for the Devil

Written by Britt Holmstrom
Review by Michelle Gent

Set in early 17th century Scotland, this is a professionally produced book and at almost 400 pages, it’s a big read!

I thoroughly enjoyed the story; there has been a lot of in-depth research put into it and the attention to detail shows. In my opinion, it was well worth the effort and made for a more satisfying read all-round.

I sank easily into the story about Elspeth, a Brewster’s daughter learning her mother’s craft and also how she grasped at the chance to learn how to read. Reading was so unusual as to be almost unheard of in the time and circumstances she lived in. She became fascinated by her friend Enoch’s intent to become a minister of the church and they spent many hours discussing God and His ways. Enoch’s father gave her an old, sooty bible which she treasured and used to practice her reading.

The times were more than hard, they were brutal, at the mercy of drought through the summer, unbearable cold through winter and boggy autumn and spring where crops failed more often than not, bringing famine to the village; no wonder there was a high child mortality rate.

Hard working to the point of resigning herself to never marrying, Elspeth threw herself into the pride of her mother’s teaching and became as skillful a Brewster as her mother and her grandmother before her.

When she finally married and bore a daughter, Elspeth thought that she was complete until tragedy after tragedy gave her cause to question her beliefs and to eventually turn her back on the God she once feared.

When the frenzy of witch hunts spread across Scotland, the devout and hardworking Elspeth was caught up in such tragic events that my heart went out to her though it’s been more than 400 years since she died.

This book is my favourite of 2012. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and though I couldn’t put it down, especially towards the end, I didn’t want it to be over.