Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review | "Lies: Ann Putnam Jr.'s Recounting of the Salem Witch Trials" by Oliver Dahl

If you've seen my last Youtube video, you know that I have already done a review over "Lies", however, I wrote out my thoughts in a little more detail on amazon, and decided to share that review here as well.

Lies: Ann Putnam Jr.'s Recounting of the Salem Witch TrialsI received a copy of "Lies" from the author in exchange for a review.
This is the first book (as far as I can remember) that I've read that takes place during the Salem witch trials, and it is most definitely the first book I've encountered that handles the subject from a strictly non-paranormal perspective.
It follows Ann, a young girl who pretends to be tormented by witches in order to, hopefully, save her friends and her town.
It's a short book, more of a novella or short story, but it's definitely worth reading. The author did a very good job of sounding like a young girl. The voice of the narrator was completely believable and didn't sound in any way forced the way some perspectives tend to be when they differ from the author's life.
I liked that the book didn't focus on the magic and witch lore as much as it did on the psychological state of the characters. It got into the head of Ann to give one possible explanation as to why she acts the way she does in the book. Now, it being historical fiction, there are facts mixed in with some elements the author added in himself, which he goes into in his notes. I think the story manages to make its point in being an insightful and thought provoking read.
The two biggest "problems" for lack of a better word I had were:
1)The story's length- I would have loved for it to have been a little longer so the collective mental breakdown of the town and the conditions the afflicted girls were living in could have been more detailed.
2)Some cases of words or phrases being used too closely together in the same paragraph. This is a relatively minor issue and it's not a problem through most of the book.

In the end, I think if you're interested in the Salem with trials and its part in American history, or even just to read a different sort of story about that time, this is a good choice.

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