THE BURNING TIME by Carol Matas

THE BURNING TIME

Age Range: 12 - 16

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Matas (Daniel's Story, 1993, etc.) depicts the persecution of women accused of witchcraft in a 16th-century French village. When a witch-hunter with full power to condemn arrives, Rose's mother, Suzanne, is the first suspect. She's a healer who has earned the local doctor's enmity by saving the countess in childbirth. Rose's father, whose mercantile prosperity has aroused his peasant neighbors' envy, has just died in a fall from a horse and his pretty, independent widow has rejected sexual overtures from both her brother-in-law, who covets her inheritance, and the parish priest. After Suzanne is imprisoned, Rose (with the help of a friend at the castle) secretly visits her cell. Forced to hide in another room before she can leave, she witnesses Suzanne's torture and confession; later, accused herself, Rose returns with a suicide potion for her doomed mother, then escapes. The historical injustice resonates, but Matas's earnest dramatization is sabotaged by an excess of unlikely contrivances; and though her details are plausible, there are too few particulars to make the milieu more than generically medieval, while the focus on Suzanne's torment borders on sensationalism. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-385-32097-3
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1994




MORE BY CAROL MATAS

ChildrenTHE EDGE OF WHEN by Carol Matas
by Carol Matas
ChildrenTHE WAR WITHIN by Carol Matas
by Carol Matas
ChildrenOF TWO MINDS by Carol Matas
by Carol Matas