Often a title catches my eye on the new books display at the Public Library. Conversion got my attention and the cover blurb was intriguing. The story alternates between Salem Village in 1706 and Danvers, Massachusetts. The main character in the 1706 segments is one of the young girls, Ann, who accused the women who were executed as witches in the Salem Witch trials of 1692 and 1693. Ann is confessing to Reverend Green her part in bearing false witness against the "witches", 14 women and 6 men, all but one were killed by hanging.
The Danvers sections in 2012 occur among an elite population of girls in St. Joan's high school. The story follows four friends and their trials- boyfriend angst, competition for marks and the stress associated with being accepted by an Ivy League school. Suddenly, three senior girls, all part of the same clique, fall ill with puzzling symptoms. Clara, their leader has some sort of seizure, another loses her ability to walk, and a third's hair falls out. The Mystery Illness spreads and parallels between Salem Village and St. Joan's appear. The suspense builds as no one knows what is happening to the girls whose affected number reaches 60+. Katherine Howe is direct descendant of three of the women accused of witchcraft in Salem. One of them was hanged. Who better to write a book like Conversion?
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.