ARC Review: The Burning by Laura Bates

*ARC courtesy of Netgalley*

the burning

Publication Date: April 7th 2020

Anna and her mother have moved hundreds of miles to put the past behind them. Anna hopes to make a fresh start and escape the harassment she’s been subjected to. But then rumors and whispers start, and Anna tries to ignore what is happening by immersing herself in a history project about Maggie, a local woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. Read More

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“We are the granddaughters of the witches you could not burn”. 

Hundreds of years ago women were persecuted as witches. Burned and shamed by their own neighbours. People they once called friends.

Today woman are still persecuted but now they’re called sluts and whores or frigid bitches. Shamed by people they don’t even know. Shunned by people they once called friends.

The Burning tells the tale of 17 year old Anna trying to escape the rumours and the whispers by digging deep into the history of a girl accused of witchcraft centuries ago.

Trigger Warnings: Sexual Assault, Slut Shaming, Bullying, Death.

This book was hard to read at times. For one thing this book is set in Scotland and follows an English main character and yet the amount of Americanisms I found and was aware of in the first 20% of the book was incredibly annoying and distracting.

However this book was also hard to read because of the subject matter it deals with. It made me cry, on a fair few occasions. It made me frustrated beyond belief on behalf of Anna and what was happening to her. And it also made me think.

This book does an excellent job at delivering strong characters, emotional storylines while also showing how times haven’t changed as much as we’d like to think and highlighting the double standards for girls and boys. “Too frigid” or “too slutty”. Boys should be praised, girls should be ashamed.

I got so consumed in this book and in this story that I put aside my irritation of the American words and couldn’t put this book down.

I believe this is a re-release as there are two publication dates. One for February of 2019 and one for April of 2020. I can only talk to what I’ve read and what I read I really enjoy and would highly recommend.

I don’t normally share quotes from the books that I read because 1) I can never remember them and 2) I don’t have the time to type them all out, but this really stuck with me and I wanted to share:

“Is it a body that makes a slut? A body that’s seen? Then I’m guilty. But it’s just a piece of flesh, like yours and everybody else’s. It doesn’t make me good, or bad, or loose, or tight, or valueless. It’s just a stomach. Just a breast. Just a calf.

It’s you who’ve made me a slut. All of you. I didn’t have to do anything at all”. 

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