A courageous woman fights to survive the darkest days of the Salem Witch Trials in this "heart-wrenching story of family love and sacrifice" (USA Today).
Salem, 1752. Sarah Carrier Chapman, weak with infirmity, writes a letter to her granddaughter that reveals the secret she has closely guarded for six decades: how she survived the Salem Witch Trials when her mother did not.
Sarah's story begins more than a year before the trials, when she and her family arrive in a New England community already gripped by superstition and fear. As they witness neighbor pitted against neighbor, friend against friend, the hysteria escalates -- until more than two hundred men, women, and children have been swept into prison. Among them is Sarah's mother, Martha Carrier. In an attempt to protect her children, Martha asks Sarah to commit an act of heresy -- a lie that will most surely condemn Martha even as it will save her daughter.
This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.
The panic and horror of the Salem witch trials in Kent's novel is conveyed with dead-eyed calm and an occasional tremor of emotion by Mare Winningham, whose tempered, dispassionate voice is not given to great displays of drama. Her melodiousness is pleasing to the ear, and Kent's novel becomes a sort of long-form song possessed of many verses and no chorus. At times, the melody overwhelms the meaning, but Winningham is more than capable as a reader, and her reading of Kent's sad tale of women accused and accusing emits a hint of deeply buried, untouchable tragedy. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, June 30).
The heretic's daughter
Great read. Highly recommend. History that shows best and the worst of human behavior.
The heretics daughter
It was ok. Wish there would have had a better ending
Besides being a riveting story, the book captures both the positive and negative aspects of pride. While at first characters seem cold, the story unfolds to show pervasive love. The author captures a complicated and wonderful mother-daughter dynamic.