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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller 

From the acclaimed author of The Flight Attendant: “Historical fiction at its best…. The book is a thriller in structure, and a real page-turner, the ending both unexpected and satisfying” (Diana Gabaldon, best-selling author of the Outlander series, The Washington Post).

A young Puritan woman - faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul - plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive novel of historical suspense.

Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is 24 years old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary's hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life. 

But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary - a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony - soon becomes herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary's garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows. 

A twisting, tightly plotted novel of historical suspense from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying story of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.

©2021 Chris Bohjalian (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

One of the Washington Post’s 50 Notable Works of Fiction for 2021

A Real Simple Best New Book

A Read It Forward Most Anticipated Book

A Lit Hub Most Anticipated Book

A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Book

A GoodReads Most Anticipated Book

An AARP Most Anticipated Book

Hour of the Witch is historical fiction at its best.... Insightful and empathetic.... Thick with details as chowder is with clams.... Handled with great skill and delicacy. The book is a thriller in structure, and a real page-turner, the ending both unexpected and satisfying.” (Diana Gabaldon, The Washington Post

"Harrowing.... In the hands of a master storyteller like Bohjalian, [Hour of the Witch is] an engrossing tale of a woman who insists upon the right to navigate her life, and the consequences when she does.” (Danielle Trussoni, New York Times Book Review

"Bohjalian does an admirable job of bringing his numerous players to life in all their complexity.... Hour of the Witch - part courtroom thriller, part psychological suspense novel - holds a reader’s rapt attention all the way to its startling conclusion.” (Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal)

What listeners say about Hour of the Witch

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting story almost ruined by the Narration

I pre-ordered this book and was very interested in listening to it. The story was well developed and stayed a mystery until the end. I had to work to get over the use of old English (which was more distracting than necessary).

The narrator, though, made me almost give us and return the book several times. She over did it on the diction to the point of sounding choppy. The difference in her vocalization from one character to the other was not enough to know which person was speaking sometimes, or she rushed the conversation (again, not giving pause to know a different character was talking . Finally, her tone was whiny and had a lilt at the end making each character sound comical at times. Even when the words said, "He shouted ", her character had the same whine and softer tone.

I found myself repeating in my head what the narrator just said in the tone and inflection that the words made it sound like it should be.

Very disappointed in the Narration, but if you can get past that, the story was good.

29 people found this helpful

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Worst narrator ever

The story was interesting, but the monotone of the narrator killed any enjoyment I might have had. Do not buy this recording.

27 people found this helpful

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i might have liked it better but...

I did not like the narrator so I found the book hard to enjoy.

18 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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AWFUL VOICES

GOOD GOD! The story might be great but I couldn't get past the horrific voice actors. Their voices actually made me angry. Will never finish this book or read any that use these actors. Their voices are affected and AWFUL. YUCK

18 people found this helpful

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So Sad

I have enjoyed so many of Chris Bohjalian's books over the years, especial Skeletons of the Feast and Sand Castle Girls. But I could not go more than 45 minutes with this audio book because of the narration. I knew that Grace Experience was a horrible narrator, but I purchased this book anyway because it listed so many other narrators. I heard a few minutes of two of the other narrators and hoped that was the end of Ms. Experience's work on this book . . . but alas. I know that she is Chris Bohjalian's daughter and that he loves her very much, but I hope that any future books will have a better reader.

14 people found this helpful

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No Women's Movement in the 1600's

If you didn't know it before you started this book, women are just as good, smart and talented as men. Also, in the 1600's, they were oppressed. After getting past this message peppered throughout the book (I get it already!), there is a good story here. I am not sure how much women owned their sexuality during Puritan times, so, the self pleasuring scenes seemed sketch since they are, after all, Puritans. There are moments that are bogged down with too much description (at one point, I thought I was listening to a tutorial on scything). It's not an edge of your seat kind of story but there are a few tense situations. No regrets, but no 5 stars, either.

12 people found this helpful

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  • MC
  • 05-15-21

Mediocre plot made worse by narrator

The narration was overwrought to the point where it was hard to follow the plot at times - it reminded me of the way Moira Rose speaks on Schitt's Creek, except not funny. The story was interesting at first, but I was underwhelmed at the overly tidy ending.

11 people found this helpful

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This is so “Real Housewives of Boston” circa 1662!

This is so “Real Housewives of Boston” circa 1662!

I have been looking forward to this book and it did NOT disappoint! It has a complete Real Housewives vibe going on but it’s perfectly weaved into the era with language and all. Perfectly done and very unique!

11 people found this helpful

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  • K.
  • 06-03-21

Too bad the reader was so incompetent!

Too bad the reader was so incompetent! What was audible thinking? A reader with no idea how to convey emotion.

7 people found this helpful

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Ruinous narration!

Why was this book allowed to be released by Audible with such terrible narration? I love the book but after nine chapters can’t bear to listen to another second! I am returning it for a written version. I’m sure she’s a lovely human being but she should never narrate another book without serious coaching!

5 people found this helpful