I’ve always had a relatively decent fascination with the Salem Witch Trials. Not enough to call myself an enthusiast or anything, no, but I do enjoy my random books that reference this portion of history while never actually studied the history itself. I know, failure on my part. HarperCollins was kind enough to forward me a copy of this book and once I read synopsis I felt I would enjoy the book. My assumption was completely accurate and I flew through the pages of this book. I knew that had I been a teenager when this book was released I would have eaten it up and likely obsessed over it for quite some time. Even still as an adult I enjoyed it.
The character Lidda, one can assume, is suffering from bipolar disorder. However such disorders weren’t even heard of during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. At fourteen Lidda is beginning to feel overwhelming emotional swings, from happy to sad, calm to anxious, and worst of all she is beginning to hear (and sometimes see) a man. Centered around the development of the Witch Trials the man Lidda begins to hear could easily be assumed to be the devil himself. All of his comments, so tricky and smooth, excited me. I loved the characters and how they were developed. Not much was given forth about the man (Lucian) however you are left unsure if he is good or bad. He speaks much of what our modern minds point out about the girls who accused others of witchcraft. Lies and attention seeking, someone should have stood up against them all to prevent these people from being killed. And yet Lucian seems to push Lidda into getting into trouble.
The detail Ann Turner puts into the lifestyle of people during 1692 I absolutely loved. Mentions of every day activities, what women did in the household, how they cleaned dishes and their own bodies, being placed before a fire if you were sick, the clothing they wore, how they prepared for bed. I loved that detail because many Young Adult books that take place in the past lack that sort of thing. It was refreshing to read and I feel not necessarily forced down the readers throat. The flow of information was smooth and not overpowering. Not enough that it would scare a young adult away who might be weary of reading too much about history. The pace of the story was quick, with each chapter you wanted to know what would happen next, would Lucian convince Lidda to do something she would regret? Would he be exposed as a figment of her imagination or a devil? I adored this book, through and through it was an enjoyable reading.
For anyone, teen or adult, who might be interested in history, the Salem Witch Trials, or bipolar disorder I feel this would be a wonderful book to read. It’s not incredibly long and is fast paced. A perfect and quick read if you feel like staying in for a weekend and just relaxing with a book.