Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Witch Of Blackbird Pond

In 1687 Kit Tyler finds herself on a boat from Barbados to the Connecticut Colony where her Aunt Rachel lives. Her Grandfather died, leaving great debts, so she had to sell everything they had to pay the debts, and travel to her last remaining family living in America. Kit finds her liberal upbringing has not prepared her for life in a Puritan community. She does not understand why her actions would offend so many people, who seem to like living a strict lifestyle. She befriends an old Quaker woman, many view as a witch, and finds herself on trial for witchcraft.

A friend introduced to me to this book when I was about thirteen, and I have loved it from the first time I read it, and I have read this book many times over the years. I enjoyed the chance to reread it again. It is shocking how easy it was to be thought a witch in Puritan times. Simply acting outside the norm, or looking at someone wrong could lead to accusations. I liked that the author addresses the issue of spectral evidence, or statements that could not be proved through physical evidence. It also reveals some harsh treatment towards Quakers during this time period.

I enjoyed this coming of age story, particularly how it gives an outsider's perspective on Puritan ways. It is also interesting to read this fictional account of witchcraft in the American colonies that was not part of the Salem witch trials. I think it is important to understand while Salem was a large affair, such things happened in individual cases throughout the colonies. I recommend reading this if you enjoy historical fiction and learning more about accusations of witchcraft in early American history.

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