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Bitter Magic: A Reading with Nancy Kilgore (via Zoom)

October 10, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


We are excited to host Nancy Kilgore on Sunday, October 10, for a reading from her new novel, Bitter Magic. Inspired by the true story of the witchcraft trial of Isobel Gowdie in 1662, a chance encounter leads teenaged Margaret into the circle of Gowdie, a “cunning woman” who practices magic and travels in the fairy world. But Scotland is aflame with wars over religion–English against Scots, Catholics against Protestants–and in the Scottish Highlands the witch craze is at its height.

“Kilgore paints a world in conflict between folkloric beliefs of fairies and magic—views held by the common folk and by many in the upper class—and adherence to Presbyterian beliefs and practices…the reader comes to understand how different beliefs coexisted and which beliefs benefited those in power. Additionally, the novel has a number of feminist threads, illustrating injustices the female characters face and the ways they seek to be masters of their own fates. All of this is set amongst the lush green and rocky scenery of a seaside village filled with fairies.” – Rebecca Welper, RCWMS. For more of Rebecca’s review, visit our blog.

“Based on the life story of a confessed witch, Nancy Hayes Kilgore’s engrossing historical novel Bitter Magic concerns a teenager with a dangerous interest in magic. Ample details about the religious and political landscape of 1660s Scotland enliven the text, including around the struggle for dominance between Catholics and Protestants, and the emerging importance of rationality in religious discourse. Characters discuss the crimes committed by witches, their hardships, and the glaring inequities in wealth distribution among people who were supposed to be equal in the eyes of God.” – Foreward Review.

Kilgore lives and writes in Burlington, Vermont. Formerly a parish pastor (Presbyterian and Congregational,) she has been been writing fiction and essays and practicing as a pastoral counselor (psychotherapist) for over twenty years. Kilgore’s 2011 novel Sea Level was published by RCWMS.

More info and order the book:  HERE.

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October 10, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm