Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill

In 1692 being accused of being a witch could mean the end of life as you know it. You were either jailed, or hanged, or pressed to death. In Salem, Massachusetts a mania swept through the town as a group of girls went on a rampage of accusations that would result in the death of seventeen women and five men. And for what reason? Was it a game to the girls or were the people they pointed out as dabbling in witchcraft actually guilty?

In her new book, "Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials," author Stephanie Hemphill gives voice to the seven girls who were responsible for causing mayhem and madness that resulted in the famous Salem Witch Trials.

Written in verse form, Hemphill tells the story of each girl and their reasons for doing what they did, and the results which would change their lives forever.

Here is a little more about the Book:

What started out as girls' games became a witch hunt. Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials told from the perspectives of three of the real young women living in Salem in 1692.
Ann Putnam Jr. plays the queen bee. When her father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann grasps her opportunity. She puts in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of the people around her forever.
Mercy Lewis, the beautiful servant in Ann's house, inspires adulation in some and envy in others. With a troubled past, she seizes her only chance at safety.
Margaret Walcott, Ann's cousin, is desperately in love and consumed with fiery jealousy. She is torn between staying loyal to her friends and pursuing the life she dreams of with her betrothed.

With new accusations mounting daily against the men and women of the community, the girls will have to decide: Is it too late to tell the truth?

My Thoughts:

This was a fascinating novel to read about a mesmerizing period of American history. At first, reading the story in verse form was a bit difficult, but Hemphill soon draws her readers into the tale with her lyrical presentation.  She captures the personalities of each girl, weaving a love triangle, a cry for attention, and a desire to escape into the story of the trials, and does so with just the right touch of drama and suspense.

I was suprised to discover that these Puritan girls were really not so different from girls today - they have the same fantasies, desires and dreams. It was just their methods of accomplishing those goals that were so horrifyingly questionable.  I enjoyed this book very much.

About The Author:

Stephanie Hemphill is the author of Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath and Things Left Unsaid: A Novel in Poems. Your Own, Sylvia was a 2008 Michael L. Printz Honor Book. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review. I was not compensated for my opinions.

I am an Amazon Associate and if a book is purchased through this link, I might receive a small renumeration.

So the question of the day is - Do you believe in witches?

Don't forget to check out my Spooktacular Giveaway!  Click the button at the top of the page for more information on how to enter!

The source of many a nightmare as a child!  Yikes!

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