This is one of those books I really had to reflect on to give an opinion about it. The best thing to praise it for is how completely and utterly realistic it feels. There is not a single moment when you think, ‘oh that wouldn’t really happen,’ or you doubt what’s going on at all. It truly does feel like a believable journal; which, by the way, is how the book is written – as if it were discovered years later.
The first entry is dated March 1659 and immediately I was drawn into the story. About a girl with witchcraft in the family, she escapes to America to avoid persecution. However, naturally, it doesn’t go quite as well as expected.
Although I enjoyed reading this book, I do have a few criticisms of it. Right from the beginning the reader understands the main character, Mary, will be under suspicion of witchcraft, and assumes the climax will come when she needs to escape from it again. I think because this was so obvious, I was actually surprised and a bit disappointed when it happened! Mary met a few interesting characters along the way, including a mysterious hare, and I wanted to see more of their stories developing. The fact that there didn’t seem a lot of point to these characters made the book more realistic, but for me, it made the story drag, and could be a little dull to be honest.
Oh and the designer of the cover, Nathan Burton, has to be congratulated – this book definitely stands out in the book shop. For ages – I wanted to buy it on the strength of the cover and title alone! It helped that it was a good book too though!