From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A family's conflict becomes a battle for life and death in this gripping and original first novel based on family history from a descendant of a condemned Salem witch. After a bout of smallpox, 10-year-old Sarah Carrier resumes life with her mother on their family farm in Andover, Mass., dimly aware of a festering dispute between her mother, Martha, and her uncle about the plot of land where they live. The fight takes on a terrifying dimension when reports of supernatural activity in nearby Salem give way to mass hysteria, and Sarah's uncle is the first person to point the finger at Martha. Soon, neighbors struggling to eke out a living and a former indentured servant step forward to name Martha as the source of their woes. Sarah is forced to shoulder an even heavier burden as her mother and brothers are taken to prison to face a jury of young women who claim to have felt their bewitching presence. Sarah's front-row view of the trials and the mayhem that sweeps the close-knit community provides a fresh, bracing and unconventional take on a much-covered episode. (Sept.)
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"The panic and horror of the Salem witch trials in Kent's novel is conveyed with dead-eyed calm and an occasional tremor of emotion by Mare Winningham.... Her melodiousness is pleasing to the ear.... At times, the melody overwhelms the meaning, but Winningham is more than capable as a reader, and her reading of Kent's sad tale f women accused and accusing emits a hit of deeply buried, untouchable tragedy."—Publishers Weekly
"Powerful descriptions of 9-year-old Sarah's time in prison are depicted well by the fear, anger, and repulsion Winningham projects into her reading. Author Kent, a tenth-generation descendent of Martha Carrier, who was hanged as a witch in 1692, has an accurate vision for time and place, equaled by Winningham's narration."—AudioFile