Sunday, October 25, 2009

Book Recommendation: The Heretic's Daughter

Once I've decided to read a book - whether based on a recommendation, the back of the book, or a review - I make a point not to read the book jacket synopsis again. Quite often, those synopsis reveal plot points that, while compelling to a potential buyer and useful in creating curiosity, often don't come until late in the book. So, that said, I will not reveal to you what the back of The Heretic's Daughter spoils (as does the Amazon summary). I will say that it's an excellent story and one worth reading. The book relates the story of Sarah, a young colonialist living near Salem, Massachusetts, whose family gets caught in the fear and hatred spawned by the infamous witch trials. Two major themes undergird the book - mother-daughter relationships and the meaning of honesty, and watching them unfold is one of the book's greatest pleasures. The author brings to life the rough, dirty hands and the uncertain community ties of agrarian colonial life, making the past attainable to a modern reader without too much anacronistic sentiment. Overall, a compelling and thoughtful read.

1 comment:

Gary said...

Have you been to Salem?

I went some years ago because I thought that portion of our countries history was an excellent example of the hypocrisy of religion in general. Although it may not be accurate to describe the people of Salem that way. I haven't read the book.

Although some portions of the town looked to be representative of the period, I was disappointed to find it had primarily become another tourist dollar trap, complete with plastic witches tied to stakes, ready for toasting.

Princess Nijma

Princess Nijma