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Witch Child Celia Rees

Witch Child

Celia Rees

Published
ISBN : 9780747546399
Hardcover
240 pages
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 About the Book 

The Barnes & Noble ReviewYA author Celia Rees serves up a history lesson and a bewitching tale of suspense with Witch Child, the story of a young womans struggles to survive amidst the witch mania that besieged 17th-century civilizations on bothMoreThe Barnes & Noble ReviewYA author Celia Rees serves up a history lesson and a bewitching tale of suspense with Witch Child, the story of a young womans struggles to survive amidst the witch mania that besieged 17th-century civilizations on both sides of the Atlantic. The story unfolds from the pages of a centuries-old diary, purportedly found hidden inside an old quilt. In a lead-in to the tale, Rees provides just enough manufactured manifest for this diary to lend it a realistic feel. The diarys author, a 15-year-old Englishwoman named Mary Newbury, grabs her readers attention with a vengeance from the very first page, where she details her grandmothers arrest and subsequent execution for the crime of witchcraft.Unlike some of the innocents who fell victim to this 17th-century hysteria, Mary readily admits to being a witch -- at least within the confines of her diary -- and is rescued from suffering a fate similar to her grandmothers by a mysterious female benefactor who ushers her unto a ship sailing for the New World. Mary hopes the change of venue will provide an escape from the sort of rigid intolerance that caused her grandmothers death, but rumors of witchcraft seem to follow her wherever she goes. The horrific onboard conditions and several at-sea disasters trigger witch paranoia among Marys fellow sea travelers and, when the surviving passengers finally arrive in Salem, Mary quickly discovers that the lifestyle and the settlers in this New World are even more rigid and intolerant than those she left behind.Adding to the danger of witch hunts and Marys unfortunate tendency to attract unwanted attention are the day-to-day struggles for survival- starvation, disease, and deplorable living conditions are no strangers here. But while the era may be different, the lifestyle harder, and the stakes higher, young Marys adolescent struggles with peer pressure, self-discovery, and self-actualization carry a timeless appeal that will easily cross the centuries to modern-day teens. (Beth Amos)