Waking in the night, 14-year-old Lidda is alarmed when she first sees the handsome, silver-eyed �creature� leaning against her bedroom wall and finds that she can hear his voice in her head. Her initial fear gives way to longing as the sensuous, insinuating, mysterious spirit, called Lucian, comes and goes in her mind, congratulating her for being different from the other girls in seventeenth-century Salem. When accusations of witchcraft lead toward deadly consequences, Lidda realizes that some of the accusers are lying and fears that she will be a victim of her community�s dangerous madness. The first appended author�s note discusses Lidda�s personal madness, bipolar illness, and a second separates history from fiction in the novel. Turner draws a powerful portrayal of Lidda�s troubled inner world without defining whether Lucian is real or imagined. Despite the well-researched and vividly imagined depiction of the setting, the novel and its heroine have a rather contemporary feel. A new story inspired by historical events in early America. Grades 7-9. --Carolyn Phelan
About the Author
Ann Turner is the author of many novels, picture books, and poetry collections for young children. Her novel A Hunter Comes Home was an ALA Notable Children's Book, and her first picture book, Dakota Dugout, received the same honor. Among her other books are Abe Lincoln Remembers, an NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, and Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, a Reading Rainbow selection. Ms. Turner lives in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, with her family.