Saturday, February 13, 2016

9. Conversion - Katherine Howe

library book
2014, G. P. Putnam's Sons
402 pgs.
YA CRFish/HF/flip flopping back and forth....
Finished 2/13/16
Goodreads rating: 3.34
My rating:4
Setting:Contemporary Danvers, Massachusetts and 1706 Salem Village, Massachusetts (the same town)

First line/s: "How long must I wait?  His tongue creeps out the corner of his mouth while he writes, the tip of it black with ink, the blacking in his gums staining his teeth.  He looks like he's got a mouthful of tar.  I've been waiting for some time, but Reverend Green's still writing.  His quill runs across the paper, scratching like mouse paws.  Scratch, scratch, dip, scratch, lick, scratch."

My comments:  I chose this book for my YA book group to read because I'd read another by Howe, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, and enjoyed it.  This one took place in the same area of Massachusetts - Danvers, which was originally know as "Salem Village."  Yup, that Salem.  The story goes back and forth between the confession of one of the Salem girls who precipitated the witch hysteria in 1692 and a high school senior in contemporary Danvers.  I've recently read The Crucible - which was a good thing in that I knew much of the story but a bad thing in that I didn't really want to go over through the whole ordeal again.  The contemporary part of the story really kept me reading and anticipating.  This was a good mystery, great characters, and even believable in some of the unbelievable places!

Goodreads synopsis:  From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets The Crucible
           It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.
           First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.
           Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .
           Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, what’s really happening to the girls at St. Joan’s

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