I really liked the idea for this book. There were times when I felt like the writing got in the way of the story, but that may be just because I’m an impatient reader 🙂
This is a story about Connie, a grad student starting work on her PhD in 1991. She’s looking into the Salem witch trials of 1692, and the book jumps back and forth between present day and the time of the witch trials. Connie prides herself on being a researcher, but her mother is a free spirit; needless to say, the two don’t always get along, so when Connie’s mother asks her to clean out her grandmother’s vacant house and ready it for sale, Connie is annoyed. She now has to spend her summer cleaning up someone else’s mess AND nailing down a topic for her thesis. Don’t worry, she runs into an interesting guy along the way.
I didn’t always buy into Howe’s characters, particularly the evil thesis adviser, and I did find that her descriptive passages brought the story to a screeching halt a few times. That said, I liked how Connie’s relationship with her mom developed as Connie learned more about her past while going through her grandmother’s belongings.
It was a relatively fun read, and Howe did a good job of weaving the actual history into the book, but to me it felt a bit amateur.