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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:318
  • eBook ISBN:9781624887161

Blood Sisters

A Novel of Colonial New England

by Nancy Coffey Heffernan

Book Image Not Available
Overview
Set in the 1680s and ‘90s on the New England frontier, Blood Sisters is the story of two real and extraordinary women, Hannah Duston and her sister Elizabeth Emerson. Against a background of ongoing Indian attacks, witch trials, the struggling frontier, severe families, and hellfire Puritan preachers, the sisters grew up to be courageous, independent, sensual, and rebellious. Each faced very different critical and terrifying situations. In self-defense and for good or ill, they each planned and carried out very dark deeds to save their lives.
Description
Set in the 1680s and ‘90s on the New England frontier, Blood Sisters is the story of two real and extraordinary women, Hannah Duston and her sister Elizabeth Emerson. Against a background of ongoing Indian attacks, witch trials, the struggling frontier, severe families, and hellfire Puritan preachers, the sisters grew up to be courageous, independent, sensual, and rebellious. Each in her time faced very different critical and terrifying situations. In self-defense and for good or ill, they each planned and carried out very dark deeds to save their lives. Hannah, the elder sister, was captured by the Pennacooks and marched some 100 miles into the wilderness while being harassed, starved and abused. Her violent rebellion differed dramatically from other captivity narratives as Hannah differed from their pious, long-suffering heroines. Hannah was embraced as a model of courage and resourcefulness from New England to Virginia. Her name became a rallying cry for the colonists, who were being attacked, plundered, murdered, and kidnapped. Hannah’s younger sister Elizabeth led a shockingly dissolute and rebellious life. Ultimately, she was charged with murder and sent to Boston where she languished in jail awaiting sentencing along with the accused witches. Cotton Mather, a famous Puritan minister, told stories in long sermons about each of the sisters and played a pivotal role in each woman’s career. Some of these events are part of the historical record—legal records, sermons, genealogies, and letters. The rest of the novel is my own creation. Some records of actual interrogations that seem especially vivid and interesting are included almost verbatim. But I have created the relationship between the two sisters, invented details, shifted events around, and created or fleshed out the minor characters.
About the author
Nancy Coffey Heffernan has long been fascinated by the history of New England. With Ann Page Stecker she has co-authored a history NEW HAMPSHIRE: CROSS CURRENTS IN ITS DEVELOPMENT and SISTERS OF FORTUNE: BEING THE TRUE STORY OF HOW THREE MOTHERLESS SISTERS SAVED THEIR FAMILY HOME IN NEW ENGLAND AND RAISED THEIR YOUNGER BROTHER WHILE THEIR FATHER WENT FORTUNE HUNTING IN THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH based on the riveting letters they wrote to him during his twelve year absence, SISTERS OF FORTUNE was widely reviewed and named a Notable Book of the Year 1993 by the New York Times Book Review. BLOOD SISTERS is fiction, but solidly grounded in the stories of two sisters and the history of late seventeenth-century New England. Nancy Coffey Heffernan lives with her husband in Hanover, New Hampshire.
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