Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Witch in the Family

Recently, I read the book A Witch in the Family, by Stephen Hawley Martin. This book started off with a strong likable narrative voice telling an in-depth account of the Salem witch trials. Martin expertly tied together the different factors that led to the Salem hysteria; from introducing the political climate of the times, to the persecution the Puritans suffered, to the mental stress they were put under by their own religion. His analysis of all of the different factors, combined with his own, created a very engaging read. 

However, once you reach the last third of the book the experience completely changes. If you are a person who believes in the metaphysical and the power of faith you will love his theological musings. If, like me, you we reading the book for some insight into the witch trials the last ten pages are not worth reading. With the sudden switch of focus at the end you realize that the witch trials was simply his way of leading into the spiritual ideas he wanted to share. It's also not very comforting when the researcher of these spiritual beliefs admits that Googling something was a common method for finding information...

All in all I enjoyed the first half of the book and barely made it through the end. So I give A Witch in the Family a 5 out of 10.

If you do happen to want a read of this book you can find it on Amazon.

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