Somehow I missed reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare when I was a kid. I now definitely fully appreciate what I was missing – I finally picked it up and read it during the last readathon and couldn’t believe how much I loved it! Thinking about how much more it would mean to me now if I had read it when I was younger? Definitely a bummer, y’all.
Kit Tyler had an awesome childhood growing up on the island of Barbados. Unfortunately, her guardian dies and she has to turn to the only family she has left. That means moving in with her aunt and uncle in Connecticut. It is the year 1867 – which means she is moving into the super religious buttoned up version of New England. Definitely not what she is used to! She manages to get herself into all kinds of scrapes because she isn’t used to having to reign in her creativity and chutzpah.
She finds comfort with the town outcast, Hannah Tupper. All the townspeople believe she is a witch (basically because she is a Quaker and they have intolerance for any religion but their own). Even when her uncle bans her from visiting Hannah – Kit can’t resist the only chance she has to really be herself. She also keeps running into Nat, son of the captain of the ship she journeyed to Connecticut on. The evolution of their acquaintance is just icing on what is already a spectacular story!
You guys! The Witch of Blackbird Pond is seriously one of the best books I read in 2012. Kit Tyler is such a fantastic character – her struggles to stay true to herself while still trying to fit into society and obey her aunt and uncle really drew me in. The relationship she had with her cousins was also fantastic – everyone in this story has a very individual personality that makes all interaction seem so real.
From somewhat ridiculously courting a religious scholar to teaching young children to read – Kit is determined to fit into her new home. But in true Kit fashion, nothing ever goes according to plan. Sigh, I am so in love with every single facet of this story – I know I’ll be rereading The Witch of Blackbird Pond many times in the future.
To Sum it Up:
- From wonderful characterization to a great sense of place (in 19th century New England), this story really draws you in.
- Kit is so fantastic! I loved seeing her struggle between fitting in and keeping true to herself. Trying to please everyone else while still pleasing herself inevitably led to a lot of oopsies…
- Nothing in this book was perfect – not Kit, not her family or her neighbors – people made mistakes and acted like intolerant idiots and it added so much to the setting and made everything so realistic and true to the time period.