Author: Franny Billingsley
Before Briony’s stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family’s hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it’s become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He’s as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she’s extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn’t know.
This was the only time I have put a book down and turned on an audio version. I couldn’t get into the book but Susan Duerden made this story come alive. Briony, Eldric, Rose and even Cecil became real and interesting in the care and interplay of author and reader.
And a first line like “I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged.” doesn’t hurt.