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Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper

Newes from the DeadAnne Green, a maidservant in 1650 England, was wrongly accused of infanticide. The punishment for her crime was death by hanging. Anne knows she dropped from the gallows, but now she exists in a strange darkness where she can’t move or speak. Left alone with only her thoughts of how she got to be at this point, she isn’t even sure if she’s dead or alive. But dead women can’t think, can they? Anne isn’t sure what this means, if she’s been buried alive or worse. What she doesn’t know is that her body is about to be used as a medical cadaver in a dissection. Nobody could ever think that a woman, already hanged, could still be alive, but one shy medical student notices the impossible—that the corpse just fluttered her eyelids. Could it be true? Could Anne Green really be alive?

Newes from the Dead is a really fascinating novel based on the true story of Anne Green. It’s really creepy but cool to know that this tale, of a hanged woman reawakening on the dissection table, actually happened. Hooper does a fantastic job of researching and embellishing a unique historical event. I loved the alternate narrations between Anne’s character and a medical student because I got to see both the possible events that led up to Anne’s conviction and what it might have happened when a cadaver was found out to be a living body. Where this book does fall a little short is in writing style. I personally enjoyed how Hooper told Anne’s story, but I can see how other readers would start to get a little bored since this story really isn’t anything more than a partially fictionalized account of a historical event.

Newes from the Dead appeals to all fans of historical fiction, especially those who enjoyed Ivy by Julie Hearn and Folly by Marthe Jocelyn.

Rating: 3.25

Review copy borrowed

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