About the Book, courtesy of the publisher:
Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live.
Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft.
This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.
Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendent of Martha Carrier. She paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution.
About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:
Kathleen Kent is a tenth-generation descendant of Martha Carrier. She is also a masterful storyteller, and in her first novel she paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England but also of one family’s deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution. Learn more about her on Kathleen Kent's website at http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/hereticsdaughter/author.htm
Reading Group Guide, courtesy of the publisher:
1) How was Sarah changed by living with her cousin Margaret? How was she changed by returning to her family?
2) What was it about Martha's character that seemed to antagonize so many neighbors?
3) What do you think was the most compelling reason that Martha was eventually brought to trial?
4) Discuss the various factors that lead to the witch hysteria.
5) Why did Martha choose to take a stand of innocence knowing that a refused confession meant death?
6) Why did Thomas, despite his size and capabilities, not seek to persuade or deter Martha from her course of action?
7) Why did the community of Salem, and the magistrates, so easily believe in and rely on "spectral evidence”?
8) How has reading the book changed your opinions about the men and women hanged as witches?
9) Are there modern day "witches”?
10) Can we, or should we, redefine the meaning of the word "witch"?
CONTEST DETAILSTo enter, tell us how you plan to celebrate Halloween.
Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address and answer, no entry. The contest is limited to US and Canada only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on November 15, 2009.
Thanks so much, Valerie and Hatchette Book Group for this generous giveaway!