2017, 250p, Historical Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way
“This woman was one of the most impudent, scurrilous, wicked creatures of this world; and she did now throughout her whole trial discover herself to be such a one. Yet when she was asked what she had to say for herself, her chief plea was that she had led a most virtuous and holy life.” —Reverend Cotton Mather, 1692
USA Today Bestselling author Heather B. Moore brings the life of her 10th great-grandmother to center stage. Susannah North Martin, accused of witchcraft in 1692, joins five women in the Salem Jail, all sentenced to death for their crimes. Amidst tragedy, Susannah finds hope and compassion as she remembers a well-loved life, and readers discover that love reaches far beyond the grave as Susannah faces the magistrates in Salem.
This book is based on Heather Moore's 10th great-grandmother, Susannah North Martin. She was found guilty of witchcraft and hung in 1692. Since this book deals with the Salem witch trials, I knew going in that it wasn't going to have a warm and fuzzy ending. Heather Moore told this story in such a way, though, that Susannah's story did have some hope.
It's told as she's in jail awaiting her trial and there are flashbacks to when she first met her husband, George Martin, and their courtship. I loved that because some of the jail scenes were humiliating, heartbreaking, and unbelievable, and that was broken up with happier days when she first met George and how their relationship progressed to marriage.
It was difficult to see how cruel and petty some people were and how ridiculous their claims were and how impossible they were to disprove. It was interesting to read about the other prisoners, too. Susannah was 71 and one other prisoner, Rebecca, was close to her age. Some of the women were in their child bearing years and the little glimpses we got into their lives made me sad.
Heather Moore is an excellent storyteller and did an amazing job with this difficult topic! This is a story that will stay with me for a long time. It's an excellent read whether you have read a lot about the Salem witch trials or if this is your first exposure to it.
a Rafflecopter giveaway