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A Break with Charity: A Story about the Salem Witch Trials by Ann Rinaldi

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A Break with Charity was the book most recommended when I asked my book club for books on witch trials. Out of the books I have read so far on this subject, it was not my favorite; however, it is also the book that has brought out the most emotion in me.

Susanna English lives in Salem at the start of the the witch trials. While initially wanting to be part of this circle of girls who meet at the parsonage and listen to Tituba's stories and have her read their palms and tea leaves. She wants to fit in with them, and she wants to find out if her brother William, who is a seaman, is okay. While she is not able to become part of the circle, she does meet with Tituba and get some answers, although they are mysterious. But then the girls of the circle begin having fits and naming people as witches. Susanna knows why they are doing it, but says nothing. As more people are named, tried, and sent to prison, Susanna battles with keeping quiet and keeping her family safe, or speaking up and …

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

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When I reached out to one of my book groups on books about different witch trials, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane was one of the books most recommended. After reading the synopsis, I was drawn in by the low key mystery aspect of the story, but I was not sure how much else about the book I would like. As it turns out, I liked all of it.

It is late April 1991, and Connie Goodwin is a graduate student who is ready to start working on her dissertation. And then she receives a call from her mother saying that the house that belonged to Connie's Granna needs to be cleaned and put on the market. So Connie, who should be spending her summer doing research, is instead in Marble Falls, Massachusetts, where this house has sat vacant for twenty some years. At first, Connie is not thrilled with the idea of this; but, when she discovers a slip of paper tucked into a key that reads "Deliverance Dane," Connie becomes swept up in finding out who this woman is and what became of her…

A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

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A Secret History of Witches was a random buy that popped up on my Amazon suggested purchases. I had bought some other books about witches and witch trials (there will probably be a theme here) and this is the one that piqued my interest the most when they had all arrived.

The novel tells the story of five generations of witches from the Orchiére line or Romany gypsies. In 1821, six Orchiére sisters, their husbands and children, and grand-mère Ursule are fleeing from Brittany where they are being pursued for witchcraft. When all hope seems lost, Ursule pulls out her scrying stone that belonged to the grand-mère of the grand-mère of Ursule and recites these simple words:

"Mother Goddess, hear my please: Hide us so that none can see. Let my belovèd people be." (p. 6)
She then prophesies that her family will find an island where they can live in peace and she stays holding the spell all night so that her family will be safe. In the morning, the youngest Orchiére, Nanette, finds her…

The World of All Souls: The Complete Guide to A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

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I was so happy to return to the world of All Souls; I've dearly missed it since reading the trilogy earlier this year. Despite currently reading other books right now, I put them down and devoted my time to this one.

The World of All Souls is a companion novel for The All Souls trilogy written by Deborah Harkness. The novel contains a wealth of information that brings to life the characters, places, and events of the trilogy. The book contains a list of all the characters in the trilogy, along with background information on them and, in the even of historical characters, their historical information; excerpts from the trilogy; a list of all of the places visited by the characters; the literature, music, plays, and art referenced; a break down of witches, vampires, daemons, and humans; commentary from Deborah Harkness; and so much more.

I am a person who, when I fall in love with a book, loves knowing the ins and outs of the world and the characters, so this was the perfect book for…

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

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I find it ironic that this book is about authors and getting it sucked into a story, because Kill Creek sucked me in. I couldn't put it down. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about what would happen next. I was trying to figure out what was behind the brick wall...just like the authors in the book. Maybe it possessed me too?

"No house is born bad. Most are thought of fondly, even lovingly. In the beginning, the house on Kill Creek was no exception" (p. 1).Kill Creek, also known as the Finch House, has a frightening history. The original owner was killed for having a relationship with a freed slave, who was hung in the tree just outside the house. After that, no one stayed for long, claiming that the spirits of Joshua Goodman and Alma Reed. That is, until the Finch sister move in 1975. Rachel and Rebecca are 68 identical twin sisters. Because Rebecca is wheelchair bound, one of the additions they add is a wheelchair, going all the way from the first floor to th…

The Elizas by Sara Shepard

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I read quite a few of Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars books and enjoyed them, and I definitely enjoyed the FreeForm series. So I was excited when I saw that she was coming out with a new book, especially one that sounded right up my alley. It's been a while since I've finished a book in a day, but I definitely stayed up past my bedtime to finish this one.

Eliza Fontaine is about to release her debut novel, The Dots. The Dots tells the story of Dot and her aunt Dorothy who are extremely attached to each other; until Dorothy just up and leaves one day and Dot is left to figure life out for herself. Eliza is quite proud of her book. So then why does she jump into a pool when she can't swim? Her family thinks this is just another suicide attempt, she has a history of this behavior. However, Eliza swears she was pushed and no one believes her. So it is up to her to figure out this crime by herself. She enlists the help of Desmond, the man who pulled her from the pool, to…

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

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At the time of writing this, Joseph James DeAngelo has been arrested and has been arraigned on two counts of murder in Sacramento County. He has also been charged with two counts of murder in Ventura County and four counts of murder in Orange County. More charges are expected. As of the time of writing, he has not plead innocent or guilty. More can be read about that here.

With my recent interest in true crime, I'll Be Gone in the Dark has been on my TRB list for a few months now. With the news of the capture of the Golden State Killer, I moved it up on my list of books to read. Unlike other serial killers I've read about, the GSK isn't as prolific, unless you lived in the counties affected. However, also unlike other serial killers I've read about, he was much worse. In a time spanning more than 10 years, he committed roughly 120 burglaries, 50 rapes, and murdered 12 people. He was also known as the East Area Rapist (EAR) and the Original Night Stalker. And then, in 1…