In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 by Mary Beth Norton

In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, Mary Beth Norton, 2002 

My favorite quote: “They believed that, in the colony, they lived in a moral and spiritual wilderness, corruption on all sides, and this made them particularly vigilant, even paranoid, when it came to threats, either real or perceived.”

Notable characters: Bridget Bishop, the first woman executed; Sarah Goode and Sarah Osborne, among the first accused; Giles Corey, a farmer who was pressed to death after refusing to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty; Tituba, a slave — and the first to be accused — who survived by confessing

Most memorable scene: While I did not enjoy being tossed back and forth between the decades in what felt like no logical order, I liked the glimpses into the socioeconomic events surrounding the Trials 

Greatest strengths: Its inclusion of influencing historical details

Standout achievements: This is one of the most detailed — though at times a little too ambitious — accounts of the Salem witch trials I’ve come across

Fun Facts: Mary Beth Norton’s 1996 book, Founding Mothers & Fathers, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: A lot about historical events from that time period — and if nothing else, the events of this book should serve as a lesson in the very real danger of group-think

How it inspired me: This book began my descent into all things Salem Witch Trials. It wasn’t the easiest starting point but it prompted me onto other sources of information on the subject which have, to considerable degrees, informed my own writing

Additional thoughts: While I learned a lot from this book, I never fully bought into the author’s theories about the connections between New Englanders, the Indian Wars, and the “devil.” Though plausible enough, the connections didn’t quite gel and weren’t fully tied together until the conclusion, which contributed to a disjointed feeling through much of the book

My rating: 3 of 5

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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