Set in the dark 17th century, this gripping book, set in the form of scattered diary entries, tells the fictional account of a young orphaned girl, Mary, and her struggle to keep her bewitching powers secret from her Salem bound colony.
Assuming the role of lowly orphan girl, Mary harbours a dark secret about her past and family background, that, in a world of suspicion and strict religious belief could mean the difference between living and facing the gallows as many before her, including her beloved grandmother. However having made some close relationships with these new people, namely the character of Martha and the Rivers family, whom she has come to live and work with. Mary is not short of companions. But is this enough to secure her fate? As even the slightest whisper of witchcraft can set the whole of their new village into upheaval, and everybody has enemies...
On attempting to build a new life for themselves, these English Puritans face the hardships of American weather and adjustments and paranoia steadily grows among the colony. This is a time where sister can turn on sister, mother on child, as they fear there is a witch among them. Scenes accounted within the entries prove that Mary has inherited the gift or witchcraft and she in tern recognises the real witches among them, though she knows they mean no harm.
This truly gripping novel had me glued to my seat for a good few days and the follow up, Sorceress, was equally as enchanting. Good for any reader interested in historical elements as well as an enlightening and exciting story. Taking, I assume, a lot of influence from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the story is full on uplifting morals and a captivating glimpse of the past. Written preferably for an adolescent audience, this novel combines issues that may be seen in the standard teen classic as well as presenting actual references to the dangers of life and trust.
Though However I myself found that a lot of this book relied on heavy description that was in some cases un-necessary. But on the other hand, it could be argued that this is accurate in the way that a girl describing what was happening to her in that time may have written thus the author is simply succeeding in writing in character.