Throughout most of this book, I was kept off-balance and wondering what was really going on. The story is told through the perspective of an odd fourteen-year-old girl named Lidda, as she watches the seemingly orchestrated but chaotic rise of the Salem witch accusations.
I am a mature reader and frankly, I found this book disturbing on several levels. I am not convinced that I would encourage a teenager to tackle this subject. The whole mob mentality and the excessive enjoyment this community takes while persecuting first undesirables, then most anyone with any decency to question the validity of the accusations, makes me extremely uncomfortable.
I was disappointed that Lidda was unable or unwilling to confide her fears and doubts earlier to her parents and older brother. This was a particularly gruesome and shameful period in American history, and this book postulates that a small group of bored young women repeatedly lied in order to destroy the lives of the victims of their vitriol, all in the name of a Godly cause.
In the Afterword, the author expounds briefly on bipolar disorder that, in my opinion rather detracted from the overall book - since I was left with even more questions and a nagging sense of having just read a fictional, paranormal account that suddenly morphed into a weird and singularly disturbing case study of a little-understood mental ailment.
Truth or Lies?
Lidda knew, with a clarity that was like a candle in a dark room, that all had changed; something was loosed in the village—Devil or not—and they would pay for it, every last man, woman, and child.
Fourteen-year-old Lidda has always known she was different. She longs to escape Salem Village and its stifling rules—to be free to dance, to sing, to live as she chooses. But when a plague of accusations descends on the village and witch fever erupts, L idda begins to realize that she feels and sees things that others can't, or won't. But how will she expose the truth without being hung as a witch herself?
Gripping and emotional, Ann Turner's retelling of the Salem witch trials captures one girl's brave soul-searching amidst a backdrop of fear and blame.