Father of Lies
Fourteen-year-old Lidda has spent much of her life feeling different from others around her in Salem village. Then, she starts to experience strange, yet euphoric, sensations, and “meets” Lucien, a beautiful being who begs to live within her. At the same time, Salem begins to be obsessed by witch-finding fever, and only Lidda – and Lucien – seem to see through the hysteria to the truth. But is Lidda herself possessed by a malevolent being or a benevolent one? And how can she reveal what she perceives without being condemned herself?
I did have a little difficulty accepting the fact that Lidda would question absolutely everything about her culture, from wearing stays to believing in the devil – and since the story is told exclusively from her point of view, this made it harder for me to immerse myself in the historical setting. Nevertheless, Ann Turner offers an interesting perspective on an infamous episode in history. A warning: don’t read the author’s notes before you read the novel (like I did), or some of the suspense will be lost!
- Susan Cook
I somewhat enjoyed reading Father of Lies. It gives a very different perspective on the Salem witch trials from the many other historical novels on the subject, and most of the characters are portrayed believably and with talent. The hypocrisies of the town and its people are displayed realistically, but perhaps a little too pessimistically. On the whole, however, the topic of the Salem witch trials from a young girl’s perspective is overused, and almost always predictable; Lidda’s point of view is more original than others I have read, but is still the same basic variation on the plotline. I feel as if the story would have been much more satisfying had Lidda’s character been from some other historical time, with more controversial happenings. That said, it was also well written, historically accurate, and intriguing.
- Magdalen Dobson, Age 14