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Reviewed by A. L. Peevey for Readers' Favorite
A young teacher in 1830s Germany, Elke is looking for her first teaching job. A Witch's Burden by D.W. Goates tells us her story. After receiving a letter that promises her a classroom, Elke spends nearly every cent she has to make a two-week journey by coach from Bremen to Waldheim, a remote mountain village in Bavaria. Above the village stands a sinister castle, home of the mysterious Margrave. Rumors abound in the village of his evil deeds and that he is a witch, but Elke has bigger problems: her job is nonexistent, and the villagers treat her as an outsider. When a friendly young woman disappears, Elke is determined to solve the mystery as she strives to earn enough to leave Waldheim behind. Will she find out what happened to her friend? Is the evil Margrave to blame? Will she be able to escape Waldheim?
A Witch's Burden by D.W. Goates is a well-researched book. The Germany of those days was a series of separate kingdoms and duchies. If readers get the feeling that the author has been to and lived in Germany, it is true, and he uses his personal knowledge of the country and its history to good effect, bringing to life a time period long past. Gothic, yes, but unfailingly readable. D.W. Goates is a good storyteller. Readers will also love and appreciate the fact that Elke is not helpless. She demonstrates a spunky resolve to get what she sets her mind to achieve and to survive as well when the story takes a perilous turn. This is a satisfying romantic adventure that is well worth readers' time. A great read and a convincingly told story.