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Children of Salem: Love Amid the Witch Trials Kindle Edition
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When I started to read this book, it was a little slow to start. I am a type of reader that the book has to grab my attention within the first 3 - 4 chapters in order to keep my attention in the book. Well, the first few chapters kept my attention just enough to continue reading - Well it was worth the wait.
The book is loosely based on fact, (Some of the names are real, the town is real, but to my knowledge that is about it.) When I started reading I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy because it was kinda political and that is not me, but I continued and started to really enjoy it. As the story continued the story picked up in speed and story line.
This book is about a gentleman, Mr. Wakely, who is studying to become a lawyer / judge who lived in Boston. He was asked to study a preacher in Salem for a few different reasons and asked to go. Mr. Wakely had hesitated, but didn't want to admit, that he didn't want to go due to leaving Salem for a better life, but leaving a loved one behind. He didn't want to confront the past. He ended up accepting due to knowing he couldn't say no. Once he arrived the older villagers recognized him and word spread he was back. As he followed the preacher he and started to see why he was sent and started to send reports to the authorities back in Boston. The real reason for him being sent was starting to unravel. His life will never be the same.
The story is full of romance, horror and loss. For me I had trouble putting the book down once the story started to pick up. The story ended with a happy ending and left me feeling happy for the characters in the book.
I, like others, have always heard of the Salem witch trials but have never known much about them. Somehow I had understood that the accused witches were burned but as the book pointed out, only one was ever burned and she was also accused of burning the home and killing the family which owned her (she was a slave). The rest were hanged, most of them at Salem. For me this was a riveting story. Well, maybe more chilling than riveting. I was constantly wondering where this would end, fearing the worst but hoping for the best. All this when I had a pretty good idea that it would end, and end in infamy. But I was truly afraid. I felt I was thrust into the terrifying situation rather than just being told about it. I would give this book two thumbs up but that's copyrighted so I'll give it 4 stars, or 5 if that is allowed. Can that be copyrighted as well? Well, let just say that I HIGHLY recommend it.
The story moves well, from beginning to end though as in this and others of Walker's books, the last 50 pages or so I simply could not put it down. Consequently I am writing this on very little sleep. I'm a fan of well researched historical fiction and this certainly fills the bill. So I would strongly say, good job and suggest all my fellow historical fiction fans to grab this one.
I was disappointed.
I won't to into too much detail about the plot. Jeremy Wakely is sent from Boston to look into the questionable practices of a puritan minister in Salem, Mass. Jeremy has a history in Salem and is reluctant to go back but he does so out of honor...and because of a girl. Jeremy is thrust neck deep into the mystery and lunacy that was the Salem Witch Trials of the late 17th century.
The Salem Witch Trials was one of the darkest and most interesting periods in American history. With that as a backdrop, I was very much looking forward to tearing my way through this book.
It's not that Walker's a bad writer. The historical aspects are well covered and he does give the reader a good sense of how it was for people living in that area of the country at that time in history.
No, the main problem with this book is the pacing. It's S-L-O-W. It says it's a little over 400 pages but it certainly feels longer than that. The book is filled with frequent drawn out conversations where the participants seem to be reiterating the same things over and over again. Frankly, it spoiled my enjoyment of the book.
I'm not an instant gratification type of reader. I don't mind a nice build up to a big reveal or a good ending but sometimes I felt it was a chore to get through the conversations to see what the next development in the story was.
The love angle between Jeremy and Serena didn't seem to 'pop', that's the best way I can think to describe it. I think it's partially because many of the characters just seemed to read the same way. With a few standouts, most of the characters seemed to speak the same exact way and had the same type of personalities.
I don't mean to bash it. I'm sure this novel couldn't have been easy to write, especially considering the historical aspect of it. It just left me feeling a little let down.
I didn't think it was bad, I didn't think it was great either. I give it a solid 'okay'.
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