Susannah Morrow
by Megan Chance
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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Susannah Morrow sails from London in 1691. She's come to Salem to be with her sister, Judith, and he family. Sadly, Judith dies in childbirth just after Susannah's arrival.

Judith leaves behind a husband, Lucas, and three daughters. Sixteen year-old Charity takes Judith's death the hardest, believing her own sins are the cause of her mother's demise.

Susannah tried to leave her scandalous past in London, but talk of her actions followed her across the sea. A group of young local girls spreads rumors that Susannah is an "actress." Charity despises her aunt and begins to believe stories she hears. The girls get caught up in their own actions, eventually leading to hysterics. The people of Salem village attribute the children's behavior to "bewitchment" and seek to find those who cause it. The widespread panic and inevitable witch trials are detailed in Susannah Morrow.

Megan Chance's tale is told in three voices. Susannah is first introduced from Charity's perspective. Readers learn of Lucas's strict teachings of the Lord and Charity's own past secret sin with a young man.

Lucas tells the middle portion of the story. We see how he views his daughter and his wife's sister. The relationship between Lucas and Susannah takes a dramatic shift on several levels.

Chance uses Susannah's voice to illustrate the town's building hysteria. The title character reflects on her past and present while readers gain a new perspective on the supposed witches.

Many of the characters in Susannah Morrow are real. Chance draws from the experiences of real-life accused witches for her novel. The author provides a detailed chronicle of the Salem witch trials that is accurate to the time period. The story flows nicely, though the author plays it safe with a plain presentation of the event.

Susannah Morrow is good historical fiction. Chance's tale should appeal to most general fiction readers. It's a good discussion book as well if your group is in the market for a hot topic.
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