Stacy Schiff’s The Witches, Salem 1692 is a work of non fiction by the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian.
For the reader, the vivid descriptions of the Salem Witch Trials is difficult to separate from a historical novel. The task for Schiff was to work from difficult to discover and even harder to discern documentation of what actually occurred during that bitter-cold winter of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts.
Like several readers I spoke with, some of whom gave up early with these pages, I found it difficult to keep engaged with the flow of the story. The book is certainly a statement of the times and the confluence of strident religious beliefs, hard living on the first American frontier and plenty of hard cider fueling wild imagination.
The Witches is a must read for students of witchcraft and for understanding the period and a very strange social order. Allow yourself plenty of time for taking many necessary page-backs before you mount a broom yourself and fly away in frustration.
Also by Stacy Schiff: Cleopatra.