When I opened up this book and saw a letter (the kind you send), I was a little nervous. I’m not a big fan of epistolary novels (Ella Minnow Pea notwithstanding) in general, because the exposition is always unwieldy and annoying. However, the letter soon ended and the book became simply a description of the life of Sarah Carrier.
Sarah is, in the story, a young girl living in Massachusetts near the end of the 17th century. Her family deals with the usual things — smallpox, farming, family rivalries, accusations of witchcraft… well, okay, that one comes a little later. Sarah’s mother, Martha, is a bit of an independent woman, which is okay by her family and friends but not okay by really anyone else. When the Carriers move in with Martha’s mother, they are not well-received by the town and eventually Martha is accused of being a witch. The book follows Sarah’s perspective in all this and gives an interesting look at life in this strange time.
This description is a little weak, and I apologize for that, but I just didn’t really get into this book. It was interesting, certainly, and I was happy to read through the end, but it’s not some stunning new take on the trials or even on family dynamics. -shrug- If you like historical novels or novels about accused witches, you should give it a read, but everyone else could probably take a pass.