Book Review, Take Height, Rutterkin by Millie Thom @MillieThom #HistFic #TuesdayBookBlog

What a thrill to share with you my review of Take Height, Rutterkin by Millie Thom, historical fiction published in August 2021.

Take Height, Rutterkin by Millie Thom, book review

Based on a true story, the novel depicts the lives of a family of three women, Joan Flower and her two daughters, Phillip and Margaret, whose lives face a sheer drop from the peaceful and idyllic 1611 into the horrors of 1619’s witch hunts.

When life robs the three Flower women of their only source of income, they make ends meet and, for a brief time, life appears to be bearable again. Yet words and actions have consequences, and soon the three Flower women learn that there is a way of life awaiting for them even below sheer poverty.

The everyday joys and struggle of the villagers of Bottesford, Leicestershire, are intertwined and influenced to the point of no return by the rich living at Belvoir Castle. This is going to be experienced first hand by the three women. What else could life possibly throw at them now? A witch trial, and one during which Millie Thom plays her characters like an expert psychological puppeteer.

On reading Take Height, Rutterkin, one is skillfully reminded of the women’s lack of status in society during the Jacobean era, and of the conflict between the Church and the everyday prejudices of the masses.

But with all the sorrow and the challenges the Flower women were faced with, what comes through in this book is their will to stay alive, as it is human nature to survive at all costs. And what a twist Millie Thom has for her readers at the very end!

As for Rutterkin, know that he is a white Tom cat…

Themes present in Take Height, Rutterkin by Millie Thom

Good vs evil, prejudice, individual vs society, witchcraft, magic, women’s rights, second chances.

What I enjoyed the most about Take Height, Rutterkin by Millie Thom

Just like in her Sons of Kings book series, which I read and enjoyed, in Take Height, Rutterkin Milli Thom surprises the reader with a clever plot twist after another. And the sudden changes in the story-line make perfect sense, while still being unexpected. For this, I read Take Height, Rutterkin way past my bedtime for two nights in a row.

I enjoyed how the story came full circle in the end, and the glimmer of hope in humankind that the author gave us in its closing chapter.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the extra chapter providing additional info on the witch hunt that blasted throughout Europe during the 15-18th centuries, the biography used by the writer for this book, as well as the author’s personal view on Bottesford village, where she lived.

Take Height, Rutterkin by Milli Thom is a historical fiction novel that will stay with you after you read it through the sheer will of her main characters, especially Phillipa Flower, but also through its uplifting and whimsical ending.

Take Height, Rutterkin by Millie Thom

Take Height, Rutterkin is available through Amazon.

You can visit Millie Thom on her author website or on Twitter.

16 Replies to “Book Review, Take Height, Rutterkin by Millie Thom @MillieThom #HistFic #TuesdayBookBlog”

  1. Thank you for such a lovely review, Pat. I’m truly grateful and honoured that you enjoyed reading my book and absolutely love the fact that you thought the ending worked well. I wrote several different endings before I decided that one worked best. I hoped it would leave things open to speculation. 😀 <3

    1. With great pleasure, Pat. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your last book, and proof is that it kept me glued to the page well into the night.
      Oh, the finale took me by surprise, and I had an AHA! and a Yes! moment too 🙂 Definitely open to speculations and maybe a follow-up as well. You have a strong lineage that you developed here.
      Such a great joy to be able to share this on my blog 🙂

      1. Thank you, again. Yes, there are are few possibilities for follow-ups there. The trouble is, I’m trying to decide what to write next and there are so many possibilities. I’ll probably still be trying to make my mind up this time next year. Besides, I have a lot of excellent books to read… One in particular springs to mind. 😀

  2. The first thing I noticed was the cat mid-flight. I’ve missed a bead I must confess, but then I read your review and everything made sense. 🙂 The cover is very inspired, makes one curious about the content of the book. Congrats, Millie! ❤️

    1. Yes, THAT cat!!
      In her Acknowledgements, Millie Thom thanks her daughter for creating this book cover. I thought it was a sweet collaboration 🙂

      I’ve met Millie through Twitter. She is an amazing Lady and a talented writer. 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Jo. (As you always do 😉 )

    1. It is, Terveen, especially the trial part. I haven’t read much fiction inspired by witch trials, but Millie does a brilliant job at stirring the dialogue in the direction required.

      You are 100% correct and what a beautiful way of putting it, “Women often rule the roost in literature, on and behind the pages.” 🙂

      Thank you for visiting, Terveen!

  3. This is a very informative review. I don’t read nearly as much books as you but I know people who are avid readers and I would definitely recommend some of this stuff. Keep up the good work

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