This is a spellbinding story of family love, courage and betrayal at the time of the Salem witch trials.Martha Carrier was hanged on August 19th 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, unyielding in her refusal to admit to being a witch, going to her death rather than joining the ranks of men and women who confessed and were thereby spared execution.Like ...
This is a spellbinding story of family love, courage and betrayal at the time of the Salem witch trials.Martha Carrier was hanged on August 19th 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, unyielding in her refusal to admit to being a witch, going to her death rather than joining the ranks of men and women who confessed and were thereby spared execution.Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and wilful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. In this startling novel, she narrates the story of her early life in Andover, near Salem. Her father is a farmer, English in origin, quietly stoical but with a secret history. Her mother is a herbalist, tough but loving, and above all a good mother. Often at odds with each other, Sarah and her mother have a close but also cold relationship, yet it is clear that Martha understands her daughter like no other.When Martha is accused of witchcraft, and the whisperings in the community escalate, she makes her daughter promise not to stand up for her if the case is taken to court. As Sarah and her brothers are hauled into the prison themselves, the vicious cruelty of the trials is apparent, as the Carrier family, along with other innocents, are starved and deprived of any decency, battling their way through the hysteria with the sheer willpower their mother has taught them.
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This book was definitely full of food for thought. I can't imagine living in a time such as this and being persecuted for my Christian beliefs. Pictures were vividly painted in my mind of the "witches" living conditions and the life they were subjected to. The author's portrayal of her subjects also made me feel like I "got to know" the characters. Although I am sure that this is simply the true tip of the iceburg, it was a very interesting read. Difficult to put down. I would like to read more from this author and more on this subject
Jun 30, 2008
Spite and superstition in Salem
The author has drawn upon the history of her ancestors to weave a story of passion,love, betrayal and superstition. Martha Carrier is different , speaks her mind and has possession of a property that another relative believes should be his. Of course, this makes her a target and her denunciation as a witch is inevitable. The story is recounted from the view point of her young daughter with whom she is at odds. Vivid descriptions of the times and good characterizations highlight this story. I enjoyed it.
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