Susannah Morrow

Written by Megan Chance
Review by Michael I. Shoop

Salem Village, Massachusetts, during the horrific episode of the witch trials in 1692 is the setting for Chance’s new novel. Teenaged Charity Fowler meets her newly-arrived aunt Susannah and loses her mother in childbirth on the same night in 1691. Charity’s father, the righteous and distant Lucas, is unable to cope with the loss, but soon finds himself attracted to the lovely and sensual Susannah. Denied her father’s love and unwilling yet to trust Susannah, Charity becomes involved with a secretive group of girls who entertain themselves with gossip and fortunetelling. When several of the girls fall into unexplained convulsions, they cry out on certain townspeople as their tormenters. Charity, knowing the truth, finds herself accusing Susannah of witchcraft, and the distraught Lucas must find the strength and means to bring them all through the crisis.

Using factual details and real historical figures, Chance weaves a plausible mix of suspense, drama, and romance. The result is an entertaining saga of one family’s tragedy, heartbreak and ultimate redemption in the face of mass hysteria and death.