THE WITCHFINDER by Mary Rayner

THE WITCHFINDER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A cool look at possession that can be read two ways: either one accepts Louisa's conviction that her mother is possessed by an evil spirit, or one takes the adult viewpoint and dismisses Mother's depression as simple anxiety over Daddy's business trips and growing estrangement. Whatever the cause, a mother's crack-up is a powerful, potentially disturbing theme and the dual vision could make it approachable. Unfortunately Rayner's thinly realized characters aren't up to the task and Louisa's simple exorcism (she jumps on her Mother's shadow on the third night of the waning moon) hardly seems enough to dispel the accumulated tension. Although one is inclined to sympathize with Louisa's solution, the whiff of brimstone just isn't in the air.

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 1976
Publisher: Morrow