‘There is a madness come upon England of late.’
Following the Newcastle witch trials, where sixteen people were hanged for witchcraft, Sunwise continues the story of women’s struggle for survival in a hostile and superstitious world. Spurred on by the successful execution of sixteen proven witches, the witchfinder travels to Berwick, where he continues his quest to rid the world of evil. But will he hoodwink the Berwick authorities as easily as those in Newcastle?
Inspired by real events, Sunwise is the sequel to Helen Steadman’s best-selling historical novel, Widdershins. Sunwise begins just after the Newcastle witch trials as Jane Chandler’s lover, Tom Verger, returns from the navy to find her unhappily married to his betrayer.
Jane is caught in an impossible situation. Still reeling from the loss of her mother at the hands of the witchfinder, Jane has no choice but to continue her dangerous work as a healer while keeping her young daughter safe.
But, as Tom seeks a way for him and Jane to be together, the Scottish witchfinder is still at large. Filled with vengeance, John Sharpe will stop at nothing in his sworn mission to free the world from the scourge of witchcraft.
The Historical Novel Society said of Sunwise: “The novel is rich in fascinating details: Jane’s remedies and the village customs, partly Christian, partly pagan. Ancient names for plants and festivities, both seasonal and Christian, add colour to the narrative. Jane’s story is based on true events, and Jane represents the many women whose healing gifts made them victims of superstition and violence.”
Sunwise is the sequel to Widdershins. It’s available in many independent bookshops, such as Forum Books. Also available from your local library or larger booksellers such as: Amazon, Blackwell’s, Book Depository (who deliver worldwide, free of charge), Foyles, Waterstone’s and WH Smith.
Published by Impress Books on 1 April 2019.
Read reviews of Sunwise on Goodreads.