Devout puritan Mary Deerfield may not be happy with her life, but she has always trusted God to provide for her.
However, when the ongoing abuse of Mary’s cruel husband goes too far, and her request for divorce somehow spirals into an unfounded witchcraft accusation against Mary herself, it is the final proverbial straw. Mary begins to believe that she must be damned, and it is time to take her life into her own hands. How can a woman in a desperate situation, living in 1600s puritanical Boston address such injustices? Go right to those banished and scorned by society to ask for help.
While at times, unsettling, and the actions and beliefs of those around Mary are often vexatious, this is a poignant historical fiction piece about how fear and rumors can lead quickly to hysteria and wild accusations.
Bohjalian’s commitment to the time-period’s dialect is impressive and commendable. The meticulously crafted locution allows the reader to easily fall into the story. The final part of the book took a different direction than I expected, and even seemed to take on a different tone, but this did not take away from the story as a whole.