1692 was an altering year for the people of Salem village. After a group of girls begin to have visions of local people performing tasks of witchcraft. Quickly a craze develops and you know the story that develops. "Witches" were hung, one man was pressed to death by stones. The Salem Witch Trials were a period of terror and it all developed because of the proclamation of some girls.
Stephanie Hemphill takes these girls and sets a fictional story to them. Why did these girls see the witches? Did they truly have this 'sight'? Why did they chose certain people? Hemphill creates a story line, told by three of the girls, as they weave in and out of each others lives. Driven by jealousy, pride, and a need to seek out revenge, and the urge to feel a false sense of protection, these girls do more harm then the 'witches' who they have accused.
I have always had a strange fascination with the Salem Witch Trials but I am unfortunately very behind in my education of that period of time. I know the stats of it all and I've formed my own opinion of it but when looking at the literature I have, or should have, read- it falls flat. With that allow me to give my opinion. I thought Hemphill did a great job showing the insight of these characters. The motivation of these girls is almost understandable- it's the fact that their motivation led to many deaths which makes them wicked. Their growing dislike of people and the glee of the control of the town is evident. But the realization of what they have done dawns on their minds as well. While some characters I was glad to leave behind when I ended the book there were some others who I found myself asking, "But then what happened?"
I feel the girls were believable, especially their reasonings for what they did. Although wrong to be doing it, it is completely believable that people would go to such extremes. The book is a quick read because it completely grabs your attention. You know the ending of it all but you want to know about the girls themselves. It's on sale now so run out and grab a copy!