Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TIME OF THE WITCHES by Anna Myers

TIME OF THE WITCHES

By Anna Myers

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8027-9820-6
Publisher: Walker

Myers overlays a melancholy love story on top of the Salem Witch Trials. Drucilla and Gabe, unrelated orphans raised as siblings, have been separated for the first time in their lives. Gabe is taken in as servant to Joseph Putnam, while Drucilla goes to the home of Joseph’s enemy and kinsman, Thomas Putnam. Mistress Putnam seems affectionate to Drucilla, asking to be called “mother.” Nevertheless, Drucilla senses something is wrong, as her mood swings lead to frequent accusations of evil against servants, the minister and other villagers. Dragged along with the machinations of Mistress Putnam and her daughter Ann, Drucilla soon finds herself smack in the middle of the hysterical accusations of the trials. It’s easier for Drucilla to go along with the accusations than to fight them, despite her own terribly contemporary outlook which recognizes “the power of suggestion,” mob mentality and guilt-induced hysteria. Try Donna Jo Napoli’s Breath (2003) for a far less anachronistic view of hysteria and witchcraft; Drucilla and Gabe are too modern for this tale. Nevertheless, it’s a moodily readable take on a story that continues to fascinate. (Historical fiction. 11-13)