Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Book Review: Wicked Girls
Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill.
Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials based on the real historical characters, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692—Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr. When Ann’s father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann sees an opportunity and starts manifesting the symptoms of affliction. Ann looks up to Mercy, the beautiful servant in her parents' house. She shows Mercy the power that a young girl is capable of in a time when women were completely powerless. Mercy, who suffered abuse at the hands of past masters, seizes her only chance at safety. And Ann’s cousin Margaret, anxious to win the attention of a boy in her sights, follows suit. As the accusations mount against men and women in the community, the girls start to see the deadly ramifications of their actions. Should they finally tell the truth? Or is it too late to save this small New England town?
A haunting tale of the dark side of human nature penned in a refreshingly unique style. The first thing readers should know before reading Wicked Girls is that it is written entirely in verse. As a poet myself I find it encouraging to find a new hardcover release in this style though some readers may be put off by the cadence and structure of this novel. I highly recommend browsing through a copy in your local bookstore. I found the rhythm of Hemphill's words pulled me deeper into the time and place of this novel for a unique reading experience. While many of the characters are unlikeable their selfishness and greed for power illuminated the inequality of the time. An interesting read for those interested in the Salem Witch Trials and a refreshingly different reading experience.
I recommend Wicked Girls to readers of historical fiction, young adult, and paranormal fiction.
Source: This book was provided by the author or publisher for honest review.
Wicked Girls on Amazon.
Wicked Girls on Goodreads.
Bestselling author E.J. STEVENS has written and independently published 15 speculative fiction books. She is the author of four series, including the WHITECHAPEL PARANORMAL SOCIETY Victorian horror series, the HUNTERS' GUILD urban fantasy series, the award-winning SPIRIT GUIDE young adult series, and the award-winning, bestselling IVY GRANGER urban fantasy series.