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Father of Lies Hardcover – February 8, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 247 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (February 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061370851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061370854
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,298,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on February 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lidda lives in Salem Village with her family. She is different; she knows this, and so does everyone around her. She wishes of doing things that others have never dreamt of. She wants to dance and sing and fly with the birds. Her family just thinks she is crazy - maybe she will grow out of it.

And then there is talk around the village that the Devil has come. Witch fever.

Lidda doesn't believe any of it. And she has prove that these girls and their accusations are false. But if she speaks out, who knows what would happen to her.

I find the Salem Witch Trials to be a very interesting subject. I really enjoyed FATHER OF LIES because that was the topic. Though it was a little slow throughout, it kept a spark of interest for me, which made me continue reading. Lidda was a very interesting character, though very strange, as well.

After the end of the book, Ann Turner writes about Bipolar Disorder, along with a few other things pertaining to the story, which I thought made the tale seem way more "real" after reading.

Reviewed by: Ashley B
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Williams VINE VOICE on March 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Ann Turner's "Father of Lies" is set in 1692 Salem, Massachusetts. Lidda Johnson, our protagonist, is about fourteen years old. She is the middle girl of six children, and, apparently, can do an even better job than her mother soothing her baby brother Thomas when he wails - and he does wail plenty!

Lidda wants a life with more freedom than she would have in Salem, without all the restrictions good girls of that time and place must follow. She sees and hears things that others don't, such as a being named Lucien who comes to her. But because of the suspicious nature of the people of Salem, she keeps this to herself. Lucien could be seen as Satan, the father of lies, evil said to be roaming in Salem.

Many other girls and young women are accused of witchcraft. Though Lidda's visions and fevers grow worse, and sometimes she sees Lucien and he speaks to her, other times he disappears for some time. She starts to see that some of the girls are falsifying. She dares not say anything, though, or she would be on trial next.

The novel itself was very interesting; the characters reflect well on the time and place, and the imagery is strong. Readers feel those cold Salem mornings with Lidda, and grow warmer, too, as she stokes the fire. I do get a "You are there!" feeling from this novel.

However, even more interesting than the novel itself is the back matter. Turner spends considerable time and ink presenting theories about what could have been the problem or problems the people accused of witchcraft might have had (Bipolar disorder? Some other psychological problem?) and supports her ideas well.

Teens and up interested in this period will find this book very thought-provoking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on August 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lidda, 14 lives in Salem Village. She yearns to break free of the Puritan regime that governs the Village in 1692. She wants to wear red, like a local tavenor, Goody Bishop and dance.

Shortly before the outbreak of "witch fever," or the accusations made by several young girls of other villagers being witches and casting spells, Lidda has her first "episode." She has heat flushes; her thoughts speed up and she also has visual and auditory hallucinations of a spectral being who she feels is a benign presence, but sounds more like a sinister and malign one.

In addition to having to hide her "episodes," Lidda has to put on a brave face for her sisters, Susannah, 16, Charity, 12 and brothers Jacob, 17 and Thomas, who is an infant. Each time she feels heat cover her body and a hallucination strike, she darts out to the privy. She becomes dependent upon these hallucinations, feeling that the presence is her only friend. On days when she is not moving full speed ahead, she is as gray as the New England winters.

When Witch Fever, as the rash of girls who writhe and claim to be tormented by spirits strikes the Village, Lidda does not buy it. She feels her sanity is at stake - in order to save her own mental health, she must expose the girls for frauds. To do so comes at a great risk as Lidda, too could be accused by the girls.

As the trials take place and more people, including 4-year-old Dorcas Good are accused, Lidda has to make a decision. She has to expose Witch Fever for a hoax or put herself and her family in danger.

This is a very riveting story that is replete with wonderful metaphors pertaining to nature. I have always found the Salem Witch Trials to be a very fascinating subject.
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Format: Hardcover
Father of Lies by Ann Turner is set in Colonial Massachusetts, just before the start of the Salem Witch Trials. 14 year old Lidda is struggling to find her place within her family and Salem Village. She's always been different. She's a dreamer who loves to dance beneath the trees and hates the restrictive garb she is required to wear but she lives in a time period that expressly forbids each of these behaviors.

As if her life isn't hard enough, Lidda has suddenly begun hearing the voice of a man inside her head. She doesn't know what's going on, but she knows it isn't good, and more importantly, she knows she cannot tell anyone. Especially when the charges of witchcraft start flying around. Lidda's new internal friend has enabled her to distinguish between truth and lies and her newfound insight is creating problems. She believes that these so-called 'afflicted girls' are nothing but bored and powerless girls spreading lies to gain importance and power for themselves. But, she also knows that if she says anything, the repercussions will be devastating.

As soon as I heard about Father of Lies, I knew I was interested. The Salem Witch Trials has always been one of my favorite periods of history to learn about, and I love historical fiction interpretations of the Witch Trials.

Somehow, when I read the description initially, I picked up on the Salem Witch Trials, and missed the fact that our main character is bi-polar. When I started reading the book, several of Lidda's traits struck me as strange, and I thought to myself that Lidda seemed Manic Depressive (the correct diagnostic term for bi-polar disorder) or in the early stages of Schizophrenia.

I'm going to interrupt my review of the book to make a comment about research.
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More About the Author

I was born in a small town in Western Massachusetts to creative parents who always encouraged my writing and painting. I went to Bates College, majored in English, and spent a wonderful year abroad in Oxford, England, giving me a taste for neat Scotch, Evensong, and very old churches and buildings. I've been married long enough to break all records and have two grown children. I am especially drawn to telling stories about outsiders, rebellious girls, and people who don't fit in--as I didn't growing up. I was always a bit too loud, too passionate, moved too fast, made up too many stories, and thought that life moved just a tad too slowly for me. I love to cook, garden, swim, pet my wild Jack Russell terrier, talk to friends and my "kids," and laugh at my husband's wild, original stories. I also actually answer letters and emails sent to me by fans, and when I do school visits, I tell people--"Don't ever let anyone tell you you can't do it!"

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