Book Review “The Witch’s Tree” by Elena Collins


Present day

As a love affair comes to an end, and with it her dreams for her future, artist Selena needs a retreat.  The picture-postcard Sloe Cottage in the Somerset village of Ashcombe promises to be the perfect place to forget her problems, and Selena settles into her new home as spring arrives.  But it isn’t long before Selena hears the past whispering to her. Sloe Cottage is keeping secrets which refuse to stay hidden.


Grace Cotter longs for nothing more than a husband and family of her own. Content enough with her work on the farm, looking after her father, and learning the secrets of her grandmother Bett’s healing hands, nevertheless Grace still hopes for love. But these are dangerous times for dreamers, and rumours and gossip can be deadly. One mis-move and Grace’s fate looks set…

Separated by three hundred years, two women are drawn together by a home bathed in blood and magic. Grace Cotter’s spirit needs to rest, and only Selena can help her now.


There is an absolute serenity that runs through the whole of The Witch’s Tree and the relationship between Grace from the 1600’s and the present day Selena is moving beyond belief. It seems odd to talk about these two characters having a relationship after all they are 300 years apart. However they really do develop a closeness that brings them together, without Selena really understanding who Grace is and why she feels a constant presence in the holiday home she has camped out in.They have similarities in their lives that gives them a strong connection that shines out. Selena’s beautifully described art draws you right in to the exquisite surroundings that Selena finds herself in. She is trying to fix her broken heart in more ways than one and her paintings bring her closer to finding Grace, although she doesn’t know it.

Grace’s story is one of pure love tinged with sadness. She is a strong young women, growing up in times of deep superstition that weighs heavy on her shoulders. Her final end is so sad that I have to admit I did weep for Grace. The injustice of what she endures is truly heart-breaking.

The Witch’s Tree is written with just the right amount of spooky alongside beautiful descriptions of not only the countryside but also the people that come into Selena’s life. I fell in love with this book wholeheartedly. It took me on a wonderful yet sometimes sad journey. I felt strong emotions throughout., alot tissues were needed, and I want to buy all of Selena’s paintings. The end is fantastically moving and finishes of both women’s lives in a way that you feel justice does get done eventually. Do Grace and Selena both find their happy endings? Well you will just have to buy a copy ( you won’t be disappointed) An utterly moving story that I urge you to read. It’s truly outstanding.


Author Bio

Elena Collins, AKA Judy Leigh

You may have read some of my novels writing as Judy Leigh, uplifting stories of the lives of older women and the possibility of second chances.

I’m so excited to introduce you to my dual timeline stories under the name of Elena Collins: the name is a tribute to my grandmother who was a teller of stories and fortunes and she had healing hands.

These new novels bring together three things I love: delving into history, exploring stunning locations and evoking the possibility of the supernatural. They are tales of people’s lives then and now, and there will be some spine-tingling moments.

I love writing, travelling, reading, music and theatre. I have an MA in Professional Writing. When I’m away from my desk and my three black cats, you’ll find me researching my next novel in some of this country’s most beautiful locations and beyond.

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