REVIEW: Captivity by Deborah Noyes

For my online historical fiction bookclub (through facebook!) we read Deborah Noyes’ Captivity for June. What an intriguing book! My library had it on the new release shelf and I hadn’t heard much about it. Captivity tells two, intertwining stories: one following the lonely, reclusive, and grieving Clara Gill as she shuts herself away from society after a scandal, and the Fox sisters, Maggie and Kate  – of upper state New York, who have bizarre, supernatural experiences and claim to be able to communicate with the dead. The amazing thing is – the part about the Fox sisters is based on fact. There really were these sisters who claimed to be visited by ghosts and spirits and who, by their popularity and actions, gave rise to the spiritualist movement in the mid-1800’s in the United States. {I visited Wikipedia (certainly not the font of knowledge and wisdom but right handy in a pinch!) to find out more about them. Apparently, Maggie claimed it was all a hoax shortly before her death, then attempted to recant her confession.}

I enjoyed this novel, even though I found it very slow at times.  My favorite passages were about Clara. I was routing for her throughout the book to start living life again and to move on from her tragedy. I did find the seances fascinating. I have to say Leah’s control and manipulation of her sisters made me angry (all the more since it was based in fact!).

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction based in fact – along with a good touch of Gothic! I’d give it 3 3/4 Stars!

5 thoughts on “REVIEW: Captivity by Deborah Noyes

  1. Beth, I just started this last night. I’m going to keep it up on our Facebook club this month as well. I was immediately drawn to Clara in the first chapter. I can’t wait to find out what happens. I’ll know to soldier through the slower parts. It sounds like it’s worth it!

  2. Nice review! I was hoping this would be a really great book that I’d want to read someday, and though it does sound interesting, it doesn’t sound like you loved it enough to make me want to rush out and buy it right away. 🙂 I’ll share this on the Rozlyn Press Facebook site.

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