In the summer of 1692, the infamous Salem witch trials were underway in Massachusetts Colony, North America. Meanwhile, a new Governor was appointed over New Hampshire colony, but his only interest was the land he felt entitled to.
Citizens of Durham, New Hampshire, were losing property they’d farmed for years. It was a dangerous time to come to the Colonies, but Kate Tremont had no choice. Having lost her father and her home in Kingston, Jamaica, she sailed to Durham, New Hampshire to stay with her only living relative – William Stoddard, a farmer and devout Puritan.
William demands obedience and conformity if Kate wants to stay, but that’s not the worst of it. Kate finds that enemies are easier to make than friends when she gives a doll to a child. When her act of kindness is twisted and used against her, Kate learns that evil happens when good people get angry!
Kate Tremont, pampered daughter of a Caribbean sugar cane plantation owner, comes to the colonies after her father’s death, choosing (unwittingly) her stubborn Puritan uncle William Stoddard’s farm over marrying a rich stranger. Her ignorance toward the ways of life in other parts of the world heavily iterates her sheltered childhood, yet she does not let that stop her from trying to fit in, nor does it make her too terribly naïve. Kate’s willfulness causes her and her uncle to butt heads, which usually happens when she tries to convince him to think with his heart rather than his head every now and then. Her compassion for others wins her fast friends with her aunt, cousins, and a slew of other Durham residents, but eventually lands her in hot water. William Stoddard tries to keep his niece out of trouble as best he can, advising her into using common sense, but he can only do so much against the onslaught of deadly suspicion taking over New England as the Salem Witch Trials plow through. A horrible period to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with as equally innocent people.
Based solely on the title and the time period this was set in, I had obvious expectations for how this book would turn out, and I wondered why this was not placed in historical fantasy like Carter’s other books (or thriller, for that matter). But there was nothing supernatural, and that was exactly what the people of Durham, New Hampshire, had to figure out. Unfortunate that so many similar circumstances from that time did not turn out like this one. Carter did the research, from what I can see; we get to learn about day-to-day life in the colonies just as Kate does.
I did find that the “death doll” only came into play about halfway through the book, which had me scratching my head as to where this was going up until that point. But once it clicked, I was hooked. To be honest, I only put this book down to grab a snack and do some laundry. It kept my attention all the way to the end. A lovely way to spend an afternoon. Certainly a recommendation from me. – Amazon Customer