This book drew me in right away, and Susan's writing is superb. It opens with a college student, Lauren Durough, embarking on an intriguing project with a librarian. I love novels set at universities! (If you have any university/student novels to recommend to me - please leave titles in the comments.) Here is the plot summary:
Leaving a life of privilege to strike out on her own, Lauren Durough breaks with her family’s expectations and takes a part-time job from eighty-three-year-old librarian Abigail Boyles. The mysterious employer asks Lauren to transcribe the journal entries of her ancestor Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials.
Immediately, Lauren finds herself drawn to this girl who lived and died four centuries ago. As the fervor around the witch accusations increases, Mercy becomes trapped, unable to fight the overwhelming influence of snap judgments and superstitions. Lauren realizes that the secrets of Mercy’s story extend beyond the pages of her diary, living on in the mysterious, embittered Abigail.
The secret of her affinity with Mercy forces Lauren to take a startling new look at her own life, including her relationships with Abigail, her college roommate, and a young man named Raul. But on the way to the truth, will Lauren find herself playing the helpless defendant of the misguided judge? Can she break free from her own perceptions and see who she really is?
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