Author: Celia Rees
Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 2000
List: US$17.95, C$24.50
Reading level: Young Adult
Price & More Info: Click Here
What must it have been like to have lived in the mid-1600s? This novel
addresses that question and adds a few more variables for good measure.
Imagine yourself female, parents unknown, grandmother (who raised you)
accused of (and executed for) being a witch. Then, just to further
complicate matters, imagine yourself being sent from the only home you have
ever known (a small English village), to be sent across the ocean to
America - to live with a group of Puritans. Oh, and did I forget to mention
that you are a Witch? Just a minor complication, I am sure.
The bulk of the book occurs in Massachusetts, prior to the outbreak of the
hysteria of 1692. Ms. Rees obviously knows her history and her locations.
There is a feel of authenticity in her writing.
This is not a book about witchcraft and witches. It is a historical novel
which incorporates a great deal of folk wisdom and superstition. It is a
thoroughly enjoyable story which is both entertaining and informative.
Ms. Rees seems to have a real understanding and feel for the times and an
ability to convey that to the reader. Her imagery comes alive and draws the
reader ever deeper into the story.
This book ends in a completely unexpected way, which, in turn, sets up the
sequel (Sorceress), which I hope to have the pleasure to review at a later
Reviewed by Mike Gleason