The Stuff of Life

The Hangman’s Daughter: A Brief Review

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I’m not usually tempted by a Daily Deal, but for some reason I succumbed to Kindle’s advertising ploy one day this summer.

Lucky for me The Hangman’s Daughter was worth the $1.99 I paid for it. This book is a bit gorier than books I normally read, but I think it was the disturbing nature of the prologue that sucked me in. Kind of like when you can’t take your eyes off a bad accident.

The suspense/mystery/historical fiction story is about a midwife wrongly accused of murder and witchcraft in Bavaria in the 1600s. The town’s hangman believes her to be innocent, though most everyone else wants to see her burned at the stake. It seems people got burned at the stake for some pretty unwarranted reasons back in the day.  Oliver Potzsch  creates a very endearing character with a career you would imagine only a ruthless person to have. I love the hangman’s disposition; the way he loves his family, longs for justice and struggles with each horrible thing his job requires him to do.

I found the story to be fascinating, albeit slightly disturbing. This was my first historical fiction read from this time period, so I feel like I got a good world history lesson as I read the story.

I had a bit of trouble keeping track of who was who because there were many supporting characters, some with similar sounding names, but that was the only thing that really tripped me up. Definitely worth the read, and definitely made me thankful that I didn’t grow up in Bavaria in the 1600s.


Author: Kim Harms

I am a contributor at CT Women (previously known as Today's Christian Woman where I was a regular contributor as well). I blog monthly at and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Thriving Family and Creation Illustrated. Cancer made an unwelcome visit in my breast in January 2016, and I am now working on a book about breast reconstruction after having gone through the insane process myself. My incredible husband of 18 years, Corey, is my biggest writing cheerleader and together we are having a ball raising our three growing boys; Carter 15, Owen 14 and Lewis 10.

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