Monday, April 25, 2011

Wicked Girls

Wicked Girls
By Stephanie Hemphill
Balzer + Bray, 2010. 408 pgs. Teen fiction

This fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials alternates between the points of view of three of the girls who claimed to "see" witches--Mercy, who is an orphan and a servant who has been abused by a past master and wants to find her place in the world; Ann, who wants to get her parents' attention and is the ringleader of the group; and Margaret, who is jealous of Mercy and worried about her relationship with Isaac Farrars. Each of the girls has her own motivations and joins in the accusations wholeheartedly, but as time passes, they wonder what would happen if they were to tell the truth.

This novel-in-verse is an interesting account of the Salem witch trials and the different reasons why the girls would make accusations against members of their community, as well as who they chose to accuse. At the same time, it's hard to actually really like any of the girls (despite the pain in their own lives) because they did wrongly accuse and cause the deaths of many people. So, the characters are intriguing if not likable. All in all, a fine work of historical fiction.

3 stars.

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