The story told in this historical novel is immensely satisfying to read. The book is both imaginative and mesmerising, and the details of the trials of the servant girl and her dissection are chilling yet captivating. This book was very hard to put down and is a prime example of how to write an interesting historical novel. This book is based on a true story, although of course not all of the details are true to the original. The following is a spoiler-free review.
Book Blurb: Anne can’t move a muscle, can’t open her eyes, can’t scream. She lies immobile in the darkness, unsure if she’d dead, terrified she’s buried alive, haunted by her final memory—of being hanged. A maidservant falsely accused of infanticide in 1650 England and sent to the scaffold, Anne Green is trapped with her racing thoughts, her burning need to revisit the events—and the man—that led her to the gallows. Meanwhile, a shy 18-year-old medical student attends his first dissection and notices something strange as the doctors prepare their tools . . . Did her eyelids just flutter? Could this corpse be alive?
Newes from the Dead is a supreme example of the injustice many lower-class people, and in particular women, faced in the past. Anne Green is wrongly accused of infanticide, and in a male-dominated world of courtrooms and aristocracy there is no justice for this woman who is seen as a threat. She is not a perfect human, and it is fair to say that she had her flaws, but they are nothing compared to the characters of Master Geoffrey and Sir Thomas who take advantage of and despise this girl. The medical aspect of the novel is also fascinating and the back and forth chapters between past and present are effective in telling us the story of Anne Green.
In conclusion, I found this to be a highly interesting read and would recommend it to readers who like historical fiction.
R/T: Rose and Thorn (Please see About section for more information)