Release Date: July 1, 2010
Received From: Publisher
Age Group: Young Adult
Other Books by This Author: Your Own, Sylvia, Things Left Unsaid,
My Rating: 3 Stars
Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials based on the real historical characters, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692—Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr.
When Ann’s father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann sees an opportunity and starts manifesting the symptoms of affliction. Ann looks up to Mercy, the beautiful servant in her parents’ house. She shows Mercy the power that a young girl is capable of in a time when women were completely powerless. Mercy, who suffered abuse at the hands of past masters, seizes her only chance at safety. And Ann’s cousin Margaret, anxious to win the attention of a boy in her sights, follows suit. As the accusations mount against men and women in the community, the girls start to see the deadly ramifications of their actions. Should they finally tell the truth? Or is it too late to save this small New England town?
From the moment I saw the cover of Wicked Girls, I knew I had to read it. It’s so haunting and mysterious. Now that I have read the book, I like the cover even more. It fits the story perfectly. This is a fictionalized story of the Salem Witch Trials, told from three of the accusers, in Stephanie Hemphill’s eerie verse.
I don’t remember much about the Witch Trials, so I was in the dark going into the story. These girls could be any group of popular girls at any high school today. What they did was horrible. They claimed to be ‘afflicted’. They could see and be tortured by the specters of the witches in their village. And somehow, as unbelievable as it was for this day and age, the men in charge believed these teenage girls. The girls become enthralled with all the attention they are receiving, so they start pointing more and more fingers at supposed witches. Things quickly get out of hand, but how can they stop without confessing all?
This is the first book I have read by Stephanie Hemphill and I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. The writing was haunting and the verse was spot on. I did feel that the story was a little anti-climatic, but that might just be because it stuck very close to the actual events.
I would definitely recommend Wicked Girls to anyone that like historical fiction. It’s a fast, well written read.