From the CS Monitor comes this review:
author Katherine Howe blends the history of the long-ago witch trials with the tale of a 1991 Harvard student to create a toothsome smoothie of a summer read.
Connie is an earnest, devoted scholar of American Colonial history working on her PhD at Harvard University. She doesn’t have much of a social life but she sure knows her way around a card catalog and works hard to ensure that her tidy, organized life as an academic will remain distant from that of the hippie-dippie lifestyle of her New Age-y mother, Grace.
Grace, however, isn’t as willing to let go. Even as Connie is busy acing her oral exams and getting ready to move on to her dissertation, Grace has a favor to ask: Would Connie mind spending the summer in the old seaside town of Marblehead, Mass., helping to domesticate the rustic (really rustic – there’s no electricity and Connie has to hack her way through vines to find the front door) former home of her grandmother?
Connie grudgingly accedes, little guessing what adventures will unfold for her once she leaves Cambridge. For one, she comes to discover that she is the descendent of Deliverance Dane, one of the women accused of witchcraft in 1692. For another, she meets a good-natured steeplejack (yes, really, a steeplejack – restoration is a big business in these old New England towns) named Sam who – much to her surprise – becomes her boyfriend.But most astonishing of all, she begins to learn of the unusual heritage passed down through the women in her family...