Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Heretic's Daughter

The Heretic's Daughter

The time is 1692.  The place is Salem, MA.
The story is told by a woman, looking back over the tragic events of her childhood.  When Sarah Carrier is quite young, her mother, Martha is arrested and tried for being a witch.  Sarah and her three brothers are also arrested, tried and imprisoned.  Sarah was eleven years old at the time of her arrest.   
She talks about the trials of others.  A woman expecting a child is arrested, tried and jailed.  A woman, along with her baby are jailed.   She talks of the people being tortured in order to gain a confession.  She tells of children forced to testify against their parents.  Sarah, herself is forced to testify against her mother.
She talks about the horrible conditions they are forced to endure in prison.  The damp, filth, stench and mice.  She tells of their hunger, and the greed of the sheriff's wife who barters food for their clothes.
She talks about the horrible greed of others.  She tells of angry people giving false testimony against others with which they have a grudge.  She tells of the greed of the accusers, and their gaining land and possessions of  those they've tried and found guilty.
The author writes a very graphic story.  It is haunting.  It is sad.  It is tragic.
4 Stars

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