It wouldn’t be almost-Halloween without me reading some witchy books. Below is the first of several themed reviews I will be posting over the next few days in the lead up to Halloween.
First up is I Walk in Dread by Lisa Rowe Fraustino. This YA book is part of the Dear America series which I’m sure many of you probably remember. The fictional diary of Deliverance Trembly chronicles her life during the time of the infamous Salem witch trials in 1692 in Massachusetts.
This was a re-read for me as I previously read this book, and much of this series, when I was about eleven or twelve. I loved these books so much and was very into historical fiction at the time. However, this time around I commented to Anthony while reading that this is totally not a kid’s book! So much of what happens in the story flew over my head when I first read it. For example, I didn’t pay any attention to the relationship between Deliverance and her sister Mem, but on this second read I found it, along with Mem’s own story line and involvement in the trials and accusations, to be very compelling. The sisters represent opposing viewpoints between those in Salem Farm who believed the accusers versus the accused, and their arguments were quite intense. I can only imagine how many families were divided like this at the time.
What I enjoyed most, or at least sympathized with, is how Deliverance’s anguish about the witch accusations and trials is so palpable. She is torn between her faith and the opinions of those around her, and much of her diary entries consist of her conflicting thoughts about who to believe in: God, herself, or the accusers. Although she is a fictional character, her thoughts and feelings seemed so real. It is an understatement to say that this was an incredibly confusing and scary time in history, and this story conveys the mood extremely well.
This was a riveting read, not only perfect for the season, but further proof that I need to be reading more YA books!