A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi


Synopsis: Protagonist Susannah English is a creation of Ann Rinaldi, but her narration of the events of Salem's witch trial craze of 1692 allows the reader to feel a part of the historical events presented in the book. At 14-yrs old, Susannah is the daughter of a free-thinking family who also happen to be successful business owners and therefore, wealthy by Puritan standards; my today's standards, she seems an obvious candidate for popularity. However, in the Puritan town of Salem, her families wealth and opinions instead makes her an outcast. Her alternating fascination and revulsion for the circle of witch-crying girls and the power they have achieved over the town is an understandable side effect of her ostracism, and also allows her to serve as a more objective narrator than had Rinaldi chosen a girl who participated in the trials more directly.

This title might be interesting as a companion novel to study of Arthur Miller's play The Crucible.