The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

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How did the family know that Judith was in love in The Witch of Blackbird Pond?

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The family could tell that Judith was in love because her mannerisms changed and she seemed happier.

When Judith is in love with John Holbrook, the family is a little surprised at first.  His attentions (and intentions) were never obvious.  One thing that the family is sure of is that Judith is in love.  Her entire manner shows it.

Not even her father could have failed to guess that Judith was in love. She had never spoken another word, even to Mercy or Kit, after that first surprising disclosure. But there was a brilliance in her eyes, a warm color in her cheeks, and a new sweetness in her manner. (Ch. 10)

There is no shortage of suitable men, it would seem, and John Holbrook is poor and wants to be a student.  He may not have thought that anyone was actively considering him.  He does spend a lot of time with the Woods, but never says anything specific to Judith.  John never “formally asked permission to call” but came when Rachel invited him, and kept coming.  The family assumed he wanted Judith.

There had never been the slightest hint that he was courting Judith. He never seemed to single her out, but sometimes he consented when she suggested that they walk along the green in the twilight. That was all the encouragement Judith needed. Indeed, it was more than enough to satisfy the whole family of John's intentions. (Ch. 10)

John becomes part of the family, and they all enjoy his company.  He reads aloud and the family gathers around, and it sometimes also makes the uncomfortable silences between Kit and William more comfortable.  Kit considers him a friend.

Kit realizes one day, while they are sitting around listening to one of these readings, that Mercy is in love with John Holbrook too!  She looks up from her knitting and notices something odd about the expression on Mercy's face.

Mercy sat, as usual, slightly in the...

(The entire section contains 665 words.)

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