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The Familiars

Narrated by: Katy Sobey
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

Non-member price: $48.62

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Publisher's Summary

To save her child, she will trust a stranger. To protect a secret, she must risk her life....

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn't supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy. 

Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby and to prove the physician wrong. 

As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? 

Soon the two women's lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood's stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. 

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

©2019 Stacey Halls (P)2019 Bonnier Books UK

Critic Reviews

"Assured and alluring, this beautiful tale of women and witchcraft and the fight against power was a delight from start to finish." (Jessie Burton, best-selling author of The Miniaturist)

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Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

More family drama than historical fiction

As a story based on real people and true events during one of the most terrifying times in history for women I expected more atmosphere. This is a story about husbands, wives, neighbours and babies with a backdrop of witches and misogyny. It was certainly entertaining but not what I was expecting.

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  • Amy Connolly
  • 10-03-2019

Entertaining

This was an enjoyable listen. It kept me entertained the whole way through. I was a little disappointed in the ending, and felt it was resolved too easily after everything, but I'm still glad I read it. I do love a witch hunt story.
I thought the narrator was perfect for the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Didi
  • 02-05-2019

Poor Performance

I really really wanted to like this book. The story isn't bad an I got to about 1/3 of the way in but oh dear is the performance poor. The reader's voice and intonation is all wrong, making every single thought sound exactly the same. I can't bring myself to listen any more.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-06-2019

Great story

Really good audiobook I was hooked from the start. Great twist at the end which I did not expect!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Chevonne Hobbs
  • 23-05-2019

A wonderful tale of mysteries that gently unfold.

A lovely novel and a number of moments that are brilliantly articulated that makes you feel like you're in the room with the characters. Moments that will make you feel gobsmacked and some that make you cry as you feel the emotion.

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  • R W
  • 22-04-2019

Captivating

A perfect collaboration between historical accuracy and insightful narrative. I listened to The Familiars on a car trip with my 12 year old daughter. We were both absolutely captivated by this story, brilliantly narrated and written with an insight, passion and flair that is mesmerizing. My daughter loved learning about the Pendle witch trials and I was on the edge of my seat as the plot and characters continued to surprise me with each chapter. Stacey Halls just became my new favourite author, her perfectly smooth and sharp hand is beyond anything I have read for ages.

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  • Mary Ann
  • 16-04-2019

Simply wonderful!

I really enjoyed listening to this book and kept going back for more chapters until I finished it in a couple of days. I know the story of the Pendle Witches and have visited Pendle Hill and read factual books on the trials and also was lucky enough to meet the fascinating Simon Entwhistle who is an expert on the subject. This book is historically accurate and the author has done her research very well and ended up with a story that, although fiction, is based on historical reality and thus entirely believable. The characters are very well portrayed as was the era which was a difficult time for women. As a first novel it's excellent and I will keep an eye out for more from this author. Simply wonderful.

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  • SuzieC
  • 14-04-2019

Storytelling at its best

A Beautifully written book; the writer is gifted in the art of storytelling and I was thoroughly impressed with the way that historical fact and some authentic fiction were intertwined. A delight to read (despite the Sad subject matter) as the writing is compelling. I thought that the role of women in society was fascinating and drew many comparisons with today. I shall seek out more from this author

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  • nbo
  • 10-04-2019

The familiars

Wonderfully narrated a pleasure to listen to. Believable with a grand array of interesting characters

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  • B.C. Customer
  • 28-03-2019

loved it

Absolutely loved this book. Having grown up in Lancashire, the story of the Pendle witches was familiar to me, but this story really brought it to life. The narrator did a great job. The emotions and thoughts of character expressed skilfully through her inflection.

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  • Wonderland
  • 25-03-2019

A work of art!

I adored this book ... couldn't put it down. Excellent production and narrator. looking forward to more from this author.