Wicked Girls – Stephanie Hemphill

I didn’t read much last week so it took me longer than it should have to finish Wicked Girls.

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“From Printz Honor winner and Your Own, Sylvia author Stephanie Hemphill comes this fictionalized account of the Salem Witch trials from three of the real young women living in Salem in 1692.

Ann Putnam Jr. is the queen bee. When her father suggests a spate of illnesses in the village is the result of witchcraft, she puts in motion a chain of events that will change Salem forever.

Mercy Lewis is the beautiful servant in Ann’s house who inspires adulation in some and envy in others. With her troubled past, she seizes her only chance at safety.

Margaret Walcott, Ann’s cousin, is desperately in love. She is torn between staying loyal to her friends and pursuing a life with her betrothed.

With new accusations mounting against the men and women of the community, the girls will have to decide: Is it too late to tell the truth?”

I read one of Stephanie Hemphill’s books, Hideous Love, a few months ago. I thought it was fascinating that it was written in free verse rather than the traditional prose. The same goes for Wicked Girls.

I don’t know much about the Salem Witch Trials, so this was a bit of a history lesson for me. I mean, obviously Hemphill took a few liberties in the telling of the story, but I imagine she did her fair share of research before writing. Plus, there is a convenient section at the end of the novel that explains what happened to the girls in real life.

There’s not much to say about Wicked Girls. It was enjoyable and somewhat educational. It takes a few pages to get used to the free verse but once you hit your stride, you don’t even notice how much you’ve read. It also might make you want to pick up an actual history book, but when has that been a bad thing?

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