From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9-- The framework is here for a great story, but the telling is rough. Hannah Kincaid, 15, has come to Martha's Vineyard to stay with an elderly aunt following two years of treatment for anorexia at a residential facility. As the story unfolds, pieces of Hannah's family background are revealed gradually. Within a few days of her arrival, she has been contacted through dreams by a ghost--that of Patience Cory, an island girl who was hanged for witchcraft some 300 years earlier. Hypnotized by her psychiatrist to locate the source of these dreams, Hannah becomes Patience, and thus begins the story of Patience's false accusation. From this point, alternating chapters tell of Patience's trial and execution and Hannah's mental and physical search for evidence, first of Patience's existence and later of her innocence, while she also searches, less obviously, for confidence and security in her own life. With the exception of Hannah, a complex and interesting girl, the characters tend to be stereotypes: the distant, elderly aunt; the grumpy housekeeper; the attractive, intelligent, and considerate boyfriend; and his likable pals. Patience Cory and her situation are recognizable from the many accounts of the Salem witchcraft hysteria found in fiction and nonfiction. Hannah's mental illness and that of her best friend, Melanie, are described in a perfunctory manner, while other characters are drawn but not really pieced into the story. Even the ghost of Patience comes in fits and starts. Other events presage Hannah's involvement with the past without being related to the rest of the story. Flaws aside, Cross' novel is compelling and involving. There is always interest in stories of ghosts and witches, and young readers are more likely to enjoy this one than to criticize its shortcomings. --Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Spending the summer with her great-aunt on Martha's Vineyard while recovering from a period of emotional imbalance, fifteen-year-old Hannah encounters the ghost of a young woman, who was falsely executed as a witch in 1692 and seeks to clear her name.