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The Wolves of Andover

The Heretic’s Daughter (Little, Brown, 2008) was Kathleen Kent’s debut novel. Set during the Salem Witch Trials, it centers on Martha Carrier and her 10-year-old daughter Sarah.

The Wolves of Andover is a sort of prequel to The Heretic’s Daughter, and features Martha as a young woman.

These books are fictional, of course, but the author is a direct descendant of Martha Carrier, who is an historical figure. Stories about Martha and Thomas (who meet in The Wolves of Andover) were passed down through her family, and inspired Kent to write the novels.

The Heretic’s Daughter received a great deal of acclaim upon publication, and a School Library Journal review was published in the Adult Books for High School Students column. Two years ago, it was named one of the Best Adult Books for High School Students 2008.

Last week, The Wolves of Andover was named a School Library Journal Best Adult Books 4 Teens, 2010, and today we present the review.

KENT, Kathleen. The Wolves of Andover. unpaged. Little, Brown. 2010. Tr $24.99. ISBN 978-0-316-06862-8. LC number unavailable.

The Wolves of Andover

Adult/High School–Beheading a king makes one either a hero or a wanted man, depending on the context, and in this case, the continent. In this stand-alone prequel to The Heretic’s Daughter (Little, Brown, 2009), the time is 17th-century Massachusetts, and many colonists are still loyal to self-declared Lord Protector Cromwell. Charles II has managed to retake the throne in England, vowing revenge for the beheading of his father. Mercenaries are hired to capture the regicide Thomas Morgan, but first they must locate him, a task made difficult by those loyal to Cromwell and to Thomas. One such person is Martha. Strong-minded and sharp-tongued, she is managing the house for and acting as midwife to her cousin in Billerica, Massachusetts, where Thomas is employed. A shy and deep romance develops between Thomas and Martha, who gradually learns of his past. Though she is unfailingly devoted to him, she may unintentionally be the one to betray him in the end. The rugged setting of colonial America, the opulent royal court, and the gritty streets of London act as perfect backdrops to the twisting plot; the pacing is taut throughout. From the court intrigue of Charles II to the double-crossings of the mercenaries, teens will find the richness of the plot and the strengths and flaws of each character gripping and appealing. Ultimately, this is a story of devotion and loyalty but when circumstances allow, revenge can almost be as sweet.–Amy J. Chow, The Brearley School, New York City

Angela Carstensen About Angela Carstensen

Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.


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