Lies: Ann Putnam Jr.'s Recounting of the Salem Witch Trials

Lies: Ann Putnam Jr.'s Recounting of the Salem Witch Trials

by Oliver Dahl

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Salem Massachusetts, 1692: Tituba curses two young girls, but Ann Putnam Jr. isn't one of them. In order to help save her friends, Ann develops a plan to accuse the remaining supposed witches of Salem. As the death count rises, each lie buries her deeper and deeper under a curse of her own doing. This tragic experience of guilt, abuse, power, and love gives a first-person view into the spine-chilling months where neighbor turned on neighbor at the word of a little girl.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149393343
Publisher: Oliver Dahl
Publication date: 02/10/2014
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,086,365
File size: 139 KB
Age Range: 13 Years

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Lies: Ann Putnam Jr.'s Recounting of the Salem Witch Trials 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Melissa Tanaka for Readers' Favorite I have a strong love for historical fiction, and so I was incredibly excited to read Lies: Ann Putnam Jr’s Recounting of the Salem Witch Trials by Oliver Dahl. The novel focuses on the village of Salem, Massachusetts and the witch trials for which they are so known from the point of view of young Ann Putnam Jr. In the small village of Salem, two girls fall into violent fits that have no apparent cause. The eventual diagnosis is witchcraft and, when Tituba reveals there are other witches in town, Ann takes it upon herself to fake being cursed and begins accusing those she suspects of witchcraft. Her father discovers her lie, but rather than have her end her false enchantment, he feeds her the names of his enemies and forces her to identify them as witches. Throughout the course of the novel, Ann changes from a naïve young girl who attempts to do the right thing, to vicious and power-hungry, eagerly awaiting the trials and hangings of the innocents she accused. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as it immediately grabs your attention and doesn’t let you go. Dahl paints terrifyingly vivid pictures of the fits and spells of the various girls affected, the heartfelt pleas of the accused, and the abuse that Ann suffers at the hands of her father’s own selfish desires. The first person point of view brings power to the narrative, as readers are able to get inside Ann’s head and understand her fears and motivators, as well as the guilt and callousness that surround her as her lies and their consequences progress further than she ever could have imagined. I was incredibly captivated by the author's writing style and the story he told.
CEThornton More than 1 year ago
Lies tells the story of the Salem Witch Trials from the perspective of Ann Putnam, Jr., the only witness of the trials to ever apologize for her role in the deaths of so many people. Dahl succeeds in both capturing and killing Putnam’s innocence as her role in the trials and mass hysteria grows. Dahl’s passion and his research both paid off: in only 112 pages he’s spun a strong story out of the mystery that still surrounds one of the darkest events in American history. It’s a quick read (I read most of it in one sitting) but it’s heavy, dealing with the greater evils hidden in the human psyche. Be sure you have time to sit and think about what you’ve read. I personally found it very relevant to the reactionary culture our modern internet enables. We’d all do well to think long and hard before we speak, and act.
kherbrand More than 1 year ago
 At just over 70 pages, this novella was a quick read and gave an interesting twist to the story behind the Salem Witch Trials. While it starts with the cast of characters that we all know - Abigail, Elizabeth, Ann and Tituba, Oliver portrays the origins behind some of Ann's accusations in a new light. While I think most people believe that these girls were all pretending for fun and attention that got out of hand, reading Lies gave me another perspective to think about - how it might not have been all about the girls, but how there might have been other adults who were really running the show.  I enjoyed reading Lies and it was a quick escape from the present.  I would also like to offer that the author, Oliver Dahl is just 16 years old and this is the third book that he has written. 
Broadwayphan902 More than 1 year ago
The Idea: I loved the idea. I have always been fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials, so I was very eager to get my hands on this book. It did not disappoint in providing historical details that I appreciated. I recently saw both the plays "The Crucible" and "Afflicted: Daughters of Salem" so I was in the right mood to read this.  The Characters: I would have liked to see a little more of the cast of characters, but I did feel that I knew the ones that were fleshed out. I understood Ann's actions, but did not support them.  The Plot: The plot was good! It kept me reading. I wanted to see if Ann would change her mind and how that would happen. I read it in a very short amount of time.  The Setting: I loved the setting. Salem in 1692. Pretty cool! The writing kept me in the time period as long as I read it, so I felt that was nicely done. Overall: I liked it and would recommend it! I think it would be better for a younger audience, but I still enjoyed it and think older readers could, also.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PLEASE NOTE: I read an Advance copy which has since been editing, the extend of the edit I am not sure of so keep that in mind when reading this review. In Dahl’s latest novella, he explores a retelling of the Salem Witch Trials from the point of view of one of the afflicted.  When Ann Putnam’s friends become bewitched shortly after having their fortunes told, Ann finds that there must be something she, a 12 year old, can do to help rid her town of witches and save her friends.  She goes undercover, trying to find out whom in the town is and is not a witch.  However, she finds that others have further motives in this town, beyond saving the girls from their curse.   I found this quick read to be very fascinating.  The point of view and the plot were really well thought out, but I feel that Dahl failed to follow through.  The main character is quickly derailed from her goals and never really talked about it again.  I also felt that I learned more in the Author’s note than in the actual end of the story and really wish parts were included in the story.  My advance copy also had a number of grammatical and spelling mistakes.   Keeping all this in mind, I think this was a quick, interesting read, one worth considering if you are interested in historical fiction. 
Kristen_Noel More than 1 year ago
  Lies chronicles the story of Ann, a teenager who lives through the Salem Witch Trials first hand. Based on historical facts, the story follows the beginnings of the trial as Ann makes a grave mistake that will alter her life forever. Whenever she begins to spin a web of lies, she realizes too late that she's the one caught in the web.   Okay. First things first. Oliver Dahl, the author of Lies and two other books, is sixteen. Wow. Whenever I first received Lies, I fully expected to be going easy on Oliver because of his age. How wrong I was. His storytelling abilities outshine many of those older than him. Oliver Dahl is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the literary world. Mark my words.   This story is such a good read. The weaving of history throughout makes it more intriguing. Often times as I read Lies, I would pause to go search Wikipedia for articles to learn more about the events I was reading about. The imagery is built up so well that you're easily immersed in the world of Salem. The characters are the right kind of crazy for everything happening to make sense.   As I said, Oliver Dahl is talented. Though Lies is a quick read, you'll be left feeling satisfied at the end. I would recommend Lies to any fan of historical fiction. The protagonist is younger, but the story ascends her age. You cannot go wrong with reading Lies.    **I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Oliver Dahl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fun, easy, and quick read that takes a unique perspective on the Salem Witch trials.  The narrator of the novel is a 12 year old girl and Oliver Dahl does an amazing job of writing in such a way that I easily felt like I was in the head of twelve year old Ann Putnam Jr.  Dahl adds fictitious details to historical events to create a plausible explanation for why Ann could have acted the way she did.  I found this book both fun and educational and I look forward to reading more books by this budding young author.   I actually received an advance copy of this book but am now considering purchasing the final published version so that i can share this with my family.
ZHXH More than 1 year ago
I adored this book. Oliver Dahl accomplishes a great feat in adding possible motive to a person who has been renounced as a person for lying and causing so many deaths. In addition, the author very accurately captures the voice of a teenage girl in this book, which I think is a laudable accomplishment on its own. The reader gets to see Ann's initial innocence and a misguided sense justice that transformed her into the infamous accusor we study in history class. Her inner conflict over her questionable actions elicits both pity and revulsion, making her an even more interesting character. While short, Lies is a poignant and chilling story that I think everyone should read!