Deliverance From Evil: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials

Overview

Salem, Massachusetts, Winter 1692: In the parsonage of Reverend Samuel Parris, two young girls are seated by the fire and play at fortune-telling as snow falls softly outside. What starts as a game sends one of the girls into a hysterical trance, and a small town begins its descent into madness. Accusations of witchcraft would destroy lives and old scores would be settled. Over 150 people would be arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused of consorting with the devil.

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Deliverance From Evil: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials

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Overview

Salem, Massachusetts, Winter 1692: In the parsonage of Reverend Samuel Parris, two young girls are seated by the fire and play at fortune-telling as snow falls softly outside. What starts as a game sends one of the girls into a hysterical trance, and a small town begins its descent into madness. Accusations of witchcraft would destroy lives and old scores would be settled. Over 150 people would be arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused of consorting with the devil.

In Deliverance from Evil, Frances Hill brings her deep historical and political understanding together with her honed skills as a novelist to produce a picture of the Salem witch trials both realistic and emotional.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hill (Out of Bounds) has written extensively as a historian on the Salem witch trials, and taps expertly into this knowledge for her third novelaiming "to reach the essential truths." Almost her entire cast of characters consists of the actual people who lived, worshipped, and suffered in 17th-century Salem during the witch hunts. In January 1692, the unordained Rev. George Burroughs and his closest friend, Capt. Peter White, are living in the remote settlement of Wells, in Maine, where Burroughs rescues young Mary Cheever after a local Indian massacre. Meanwhile, in Salem, Mass., Burroughs's former parish, two girls on a winter's night whip themselves into a frenzy that sends the whole of Salem into superstition and hysteria resulting in the witch examinations and trials. Burroughs, now married to Mary, is accused as the "leader of witches," arrested, and taken in irons to Salem. Mary and Peter travel to Salem, where their energetic efforts to prove his innocence fail, including Mary'smeeting with the priggish, lecherous religious figure Cotton Mather. Hill's done a fine job with a subject that's inspired countless accounts, adding historical content that makes this treatment stand out from the rest. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Historian Hill (A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials) delivers a fictional account of the infamous Salem Witch Trials. The novel begins in January 1692 as two girls play a fortune-telling game; soon the girls and their friends fall into hysterical fits. Accusations of witchcraft and possession by Satan are rapidly hurled against innocent women and men, and the town of Salem is consumed by show trials and brutal executions. Interspersed with the events in Salem is the story of George Burroughs, a nonconforming minister in Maine (and former Salem resident) who becomes caught up in the hysteria when he is arrested and charged with being the leader of the witches. Hill's broad knowledge of the historical facts behind the trials is amply demonstrated in this straightforward rendering. Unfortunately, the one-dimensional nature of the characters detracts from the power of the narrative. VERDICT Fans of plot-driven suspense may enjoy this novel, but those interested in a more nuanced and descriptive look at the Salem Witch Trials should try Kathleen Kent's The Heretic's Daughter.—Carly Thompson, Chicago Ridge P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590204702
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 3/3/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANCES HILL is a historian, novelist and journalist whose previous books include Out of Bounds, A Delusion of Satan, The Salem Witch Trials Reader, Hunting for Witches, and Such Men Are Dangerous.

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