Monday, December 2, 2013

Insightful recounting of the Salem Witch trials

Excellent recounting of one of the darkest periods in Colonial history; the Salem Witch Trials. Painstakingly researched, Peni Jo Renner tells the story of one family and how the the witch hunt affected each person. She starts at the beginning, with the first teenage girls afflicted and describes how it travels through the entire community. Whether spawned from ignorance, malice, or jealousy, the accusations spread to affect an entire population. No one was safe, men, women and children were thrown into prison to rot and eventually be hung. Many confessed out of sheer terror, while others self righteously clung to their innocence, to die on the scaffold or in other hideous ways. The pressing death of Giles Corey was retold in horrific detail, as was Dorcas Goods and Rebecca's slow descent into madness. Graphic, realistic, and heart breaking, Renner captures the breakdown of society as neighbors turn against each other, using the laws of God and humanity to punish and destroy without conscience. This is the story of one family who faced the fires of this countries inquisition and emerged to once again find solace in their faith. A great book.

Happy Reading! 
Carole P. Roman

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