We Played With Fire

(1 customer review)


What were the sounds beneath the Fox home in Hydesville? What caused the movements? Maggie and Kate were conscious of them despite their father’s denials. Yet as word of the sisters’ abilities to ‘summon spirits’ spreads, their celebrity grows. It is not long before their older sister, Leah, realises their potential for financial gain. However it seems to need a little more dramatic, performance appeal…

We Played With Fire tells the story of real life spiritualist sensations Maggie and Kate Fox. We work through the historical narrative of Maggie as she becomes caught up in a swell of attention and demand for her ‘skills’. Thereafter she suffers through loss and absence, and also the scandal that caused her to return to Hydesville. She was happy in Rochester under the guardianship of abolitionists Amy and Isaac Post. She was stimulated and aware in a way she’d never experienced. Yet events on the steps of the Rochester school house were so peculiar as to inspire an accident that left her name sullied.

We Played With Fire is a compassionate, intriguing and disturbing story, in a volatile part of American history. Catherine Barter helps us realise Maggie’s fears, frustrations and anxiety superbly. Bookwagon recommends this book highly to our older, YA readers.

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We Played With Fire

Catherine Barter

(Andersen Press)

Maggie Fox suggests We Played With Fire as readers are drawn into events that have led to her and her younger sister becoming in- demand spiritualists. It seems that after she was forced to leave the guardianship of Amy Post in Rochester, her Hydesville home was waiting, lurking, expectant. Thereafter the sounds and movements from the cellar were suggestive of spirits…
Kate felt and saw them too. It led to the outing of a probable murder in their family home, years before, and then press attention. What is going on exactly? Certainly when James Crane’s daughter fell down the school house steps in Rochester, Maggie had nothing to do with it, although she was blamed. Yet what she saw at that time, is similar to what is happening now. Thereafter, the girls’ older sister seems keen to use their ‘feelings’ for financial gain…
We Played With Fire is an historical narrative that develops within a volatile time in America. Furthermore it includes trailblazing people like the Posts, who were involved in the Underground Railway, dedicated abolitionists. Yet what is the real story of Maggie and Kate Fox? Catherine Barter offers an intriguing, eerie story in this excellent novel for older, YA readers.

1 review for We Played With Fire

  1. Paula Hale (verified owner)

    Deliciously dark and creepy, unputdownable! I have so many emotions when I think about the girls in this book, such a rollercoaster. A truly brilliant read.

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