Title: The Heretic's Daughter
Author: Kathleen Kent
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary : In 1752 Sarah Carrier Chapman, confined to her home and week with infirmity, writes a letter to her granddaughter, revealing the secret she has guarded closely for six decades. It is a haunting account of the horrors that enveloped a New England town called Salem, and compelled Sarah, then just a young girl, to make a decision that would change her lifer forever.A little more than a year before the witch trials will begin, Sarah and her family arrive in nearby Andover to face a community gripped by superstition and fear. With the increase of Indian raids and the spread of the plague, the Puritans come to believe that heretics in their midst are responsible for their misfortune.
Based on the accusations of a dozen young girls, neighbor is pitied against neighbor, friend against friend, and the hysteria escalates, sweeping more that two hundred men, women and children into prison on charges of witchcraft--Sara's mother, Martha Carrier, among them.
Often at odds with each other, mother and daughter must now stand defiantly together in the face of imprisonment, torture, and even death. Out of love for her children, Martha asks Sarah to commit an act of heresy--a lie that will most surely condemn Martha even as it will save her daughter
Thoughts: Author Kathleen Kent, who is a direct descendant of Martha Carrier has created a emotional, heart wrenching story. While the witch trials were a big part of the story, it was mother and daughter that are the heart of this book. I don't read Historical Fiction often but, I very much enjoyed this book. It's thick with history and you get a real sense of what Puritan life was like.
Score: 4 Stars
Author Website: I have yet to come across a website for Kathleen Kent, but there is one for the book. http://www.hachettebookgroupusa.com/features/hereticsdaughter/index.htm Which has some very interesting information about the Carrier Family Tree and the History of the Salem Witch Trials.