Publisher: Walker and Company
Publication Date: 15 September 2009
Orphaned at the age of four, Drucilla finally has a place she can call home with her new family, the Putnams, of Salem Village. But when a new reverend and his family move into town with their servant Tituba, life takes a strange and dangerous turn as accusations of witchcraft swirl. Dru is overwhelmed by the fervor of lies and the power of groupthink among the other girls in town; reluctant to turn her back on the Putnams, she utters her own accusations. Only her best friend Gabe sees through the deceit, but it may be too late for Dru to protect the truth, and innocent people will pay the ultimate price. Guiding readers through the confusion of this frightening historical event, Anna Myers weaves a compelling story that will captivate teen readers.
I’ll start by saying this; this is not the novel for everyone. Many young teens and even older teens are likely to find this book slow and rather dull. There is not much that really captivates the average young reader, however, there are certain young people who might be interested in this novel. These people would be those who have an interest in history. I, personally, am one who loves history, this is why I picked up this novel to begin with. The first thing I noticed was that the author had done a lot of research when writing this novel. She used not only a true historical event, but also used the actual people of Salem as characters in her novel. In this aspect, I was reminded a lot of the play the Crucible while reading this story. I often would reference that play while reading this story, and would note the differences and similarities between the novel and the play.
I did feel that this novel had a slow start, I really just wanted to get into the witch trials. I found the back story to drag a bit. However, I do think that while this section is slow, it was important to the storyline. Without the author telling us of Dru’s upbringing and back story of Salem the reader would not fully understand the how and why the witch trials were taking place.
In total, I did really enjoy this story. I was blown away by the amount of research and historical accuracy that the author used in creating this story. The author also does a good job of humanizing the accusers of the trial. Which is not something that most historical novels about Salem do. It was a unique take on the Salem Witch trials that I truly did enjoy.