Sunday, August 30, 2009

Book review: Time of the Witches by Anna Myers

Time of the Witches by Anna Myers (Published by Walker Books, September 15, 2009)

Drucilla and her best friend, Gabe, were born in the same house on the same cold, dark January night in Salem Village. Dru’s mother died giving birth to her, and her father died soon after, leaving Dru to be raised by Gabe’s parents. When Gabe’s parents also died a few years later, the two children, who are as close as siblings, lived together in various foster homes until the year they turn twelve, when they are separated for the first time. Dru goes to live in the home of Thomas and Ann Putman, while Gabe goes to live with Mary Putnam, Thomas’s stepmother, whom Ann dislikes because she believes Thomas‘s stepmother and half-brother cheated him out of some of his inheritance. Ann Putnam, Dru’s new adoptive mother, is a very strange and moody woman who at times spreads viscous lies and at other times weeps hysterically. However, Dru pities her because of Ann’s great grief over the loss of several of her newborn babies.

Three years pass, in which Dru and Gabe remain friends despite the feud between their two households, and even begin to develop deeper feelings for each other. Despite Mistress Putnam’s strangeness, and the coldness of the oldest Putnam child, also named Ann, Dru loves caring for the younger Putnam children and is mostly content with her life. But the year 1692 changes all that. Hysteria comes to Salem Village, as young Ann Putnam and several other girls accuse many of the townspeople of being witches. Not wanting to turn her back on her adoptive family, Dru herself is drawn into the hysteria, but when she risks losing Gabe forever, she must find a way to end it all and bring order back to Salem Village.

Time of the Witches is an excellent young adult novel that brings to life the Salem Witch Trials through the eyes of a girl caught in the middle and torn between conflicting loyalties. Anna Myers does an excellent job of showing just how hysteria overcame reason for so many people during the trials, leading them to turn on their neighbors just on the word of a few children. Readers who enjoy young adult historical fiction or who have a particular interest in the Salem Witch Trials are sure to enjoy this novel.

1 comment:

Ellie said...

This sounds very, very interesting! The cover's creepy but the premise is great!

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