This New York Times bestseller is a must-read for everyone who is interested in American history, and in particular in the period of the Salem witch trials, mixed with a bit of fantasy and mystery.
The author Katherine Howe is personally related to Elizabeth Proctor and Elizabeth Howe, both women actually accused of witchcraft during the troubled year of 1692 in Salem. This makes the story even more realistic, and you can feel reading that the author knows well this sad page of American history. The book analyzes two different periods: 1692 and 1991, and tells the fascinating story of a Harvard graduate student, Connie, who has to spend the summer doing researches for her doctoral dissertation, and accidentally finds out many dark secrets of her family.
Everything begins when she spends time at her grandmother’s abandoned house; I love the description of the house itself, little, cozy, completely hidden from view, no electricity and surrounded with nature. Connie discovers a mystic book the first night she is in the house, that will open up a new world for her. I also love how the “witches” are described in the book, as actual healers.
The book is not only a fantasy book, but also a historic description of everything that happened, on how fear and suspect led a small town to unspeakable acts.