Rose Earhart's Dorcas Good, the Diary of a Salem Witch is on any scale the worst book I've ever read. The historical fiction is supposed to be in diary form, told from the perspective of four year old Dorcas Good. There are several problems with this. For one thing, I doubt that a four year old girl living now could read and write well enough to keep a diary, let alone a four year old girl in 1692. Even if she could, most diarists write about feelings and observations . . . not pages upon pages of dialogue. Also, a four year old would probably not be able to understand the political background of every one of her neighbors. Certainly a four year old girl would not refer to a nine year old as "little," but the narrator of this book repeatedly calls Betty Parris "little Betty Parris." The novel is unnecessarily and overwhelmingly perverse. One of the most ridiculous aspect of the novel is that it is written in modern language. I cannot, in two pages, possibly describe exactly how much I hate this 376-page waste of paper, but at least I will try.
The novel lacks structure. As if the author sat at her typewriter once a week, feverishly typing whatever meaningless phrase that popped in her head, the book lacks a comprehensible plot. There are no high points and low points; there is no climax.
By reading Dorcas Good, the Diary of a Salem Witch, one would think that every man is a child molester. Four year old Dorcas is violently raped, not only by her father, but by every man in town. Every reverend, every merchant, every sea-man and politician is a lecherous pedophile who wants nothing more than to stick his penis in a baby. William Good, Reverend Nicholas Noyes and Thomas Putnam are only a few of the innumerable child molesters in this trashy novel. After Dorcas is released from prison, her father dresses her in red velvet, takes her around the town and makes her a five year old whore. Given, child rape and incest is something that happens. It happens now; it's probably always happened. However, such perversity is a mental illness and I find it hard to believe that an entire village would have the same disease. I find it even harder to believe that such behavior would be tolerated under Puritan law.
With less class than a Harlequin Romance, uses every opportunity to graphically describe something sexually twisted. Any page that does not include a violent rape or molestation scene has an incest scene, or a lesbian eroticism or sado-masochism scene. For instance, Dorcas witnesses twelve year old Ann Putnam and seventeen year old Mary Walcott, cousins, perform oral sex on one another. Sex, throughout the novel, is always accompanied by beatings.
Earhart made a little notation, claiming that the book is written in modern language and narrated not really from a four year old point of view because "the words of Dorcas Good must be spoken in the clearest way possible so that her message will ring true and not be lost in the vagaries of a child's wandering speech."
I argue that the author merely lacks the imagination and initiative to take upon the challenge of constructing a diary from a four year old, seventeenth century Puritan's perspective. Rose Earhart holds degrees both in philosophy and psychology. My advice for her is to go back to grammar school and obtain some literacy, and perhaps use her psychological knowledge to work through her personal issues before attempting to write again. Earhart pathetically ended her novel with an extensive bibliography, as if such a list could convince readers that she actually incorporated research into her writing. If such a book as Dorcas Good, the Diary of a Salem Witch can actually get published, I am convinced there is hope for all amateur writers, even those who cannot spell.