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by Katherine Howe
This book was recommended as a great read. While I did find the concept interesting and the book initially so, I was very disappointed by the ending. The story goes back and forth in time between two main characters, Ann Putnam in the past and Colleen in present day. The characters are well developed and the correlation between the two stories is written well. I definitely think this is a book only girls would enjoy as the story is told from a girl's point of view and there is the requisite romance. The ending left me cold as the explanation for the girls' behavior was all placed on stress. There was a small part of the ending that left you wondering, but overall, I don't think I would recommend this book. - Barb Ballou, Whipple Free Library
I loved the author's Physick Book of Deilverance Dane, and this feels as if the author tried to capture the popularity of that book with a YA companion novel. Many high school students have to read The Crucible, and they certainly learn about the Salem Witch Trials in history class. A novel that gives a modern day perspective/retelling along with snippets from THE Salem Witch Trials seems like an English teacher's dream come true. The book is good, but the ending is a bit flat. It reminds me of The Fever by Abbott, but it's not as confusing and nebulous as that book. I agree with Barb that it is definitely a book for girls. I do appreciate that it's
-Kelly Budd, Keene High
I read this book in a bit of a hurry because I wanted to finish--not because I liked it much. There were two parallel story lines- one in current day Boston area and one during the witch hunts of Old Salem. There was mystery and anxious elements. The different theories of what may have contributed to the two situations was interesting, but I found the ending lacking and would have like to have a little more clarity and a little less left to the imagination. I don't recommend it.
~Kathy Watson, Kimball Library (Atkinson)
I've always been fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials, so the juxtaposition of the testimony of Ann Putnam, Jr. and the story of private school students in modern-day Danvers was really interesting to me, as was the term conversion, which, right up until the end, when it was explained, I thought was going to refer to how the seemingly sane narrator was going to get caught up in the "Mystery Illness" phenomenon.
This was a really smart, but not didactic-feeling story, involving history, drama, and real life.
Recommended for tweens, teens, and adults.
Kirsten Rundquist Corbett, Sandown Public Library
Wonderful book told in two perspectives which kept the reader interested and gave historical background and intrigue to the novel. Fairly well written and accurate depiction of life a high school senior (without tons of mushy romance or shallow behavior) 5/5
Emily Croot--student intern, Oyster River HS
Emily (see above) raved about this book, so I took it home. I am very interested in the Salem witch hysteria, but really didn't like this book. The Erin Brockovitch-type character was ridiculous and the relationship between a student and young male teacher was poorly handled. I vote no.
Kathy Pearce, Oyster River HS
I did not like this book either. I was very excited about it given the connection to the Salem witch trials, but it was really disappointing in so many ways. I slogged through it just to finish it, but I can't see any of our teens being interested in it.
Heidi Grant, Nashua High School North
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