Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.
Talk of war; several men join the militia and those at home fear that the men were captured and mistreated. Kit is arrested, claimed to be a witch and spends the night in prison. Talk of Puritan’s branding and hanging Quakers. A doctor bleeds a patient. Threat of cutting off an ear, talk of witches’ tests.
Kit is courted by William for the most of the book, yet her heart belongs to another. Judith is engaged to John, who shares a love with Mercy. There’s a double wedding at the end. Mention of a character eloping. Talk of a 50 year old interested in marrying a young girl.
Kit’s grandfather had owned many slaves to work the plantation. He had left many debts, which she payed. Kit deceives her uncle, visiting the Widow Tupper behind his back.
Many men disagree with the authority instituted by the king, and it’s a regular topic of discussion- submitting to the King or not.
Kit refers to her slave as a Negro. A mutter of ‘damn them’.
Kit goes to live in a Puritan community- everything is done to the letter. A very suspicious, strict people, who have set social rules about what you may and may not do. However, most of them are also kind and compassionate, doing much for their fellow neighbour. Those not following protocol is branded heretics, and in the case of several women, witches. She attends church with her cousins, even though she used to only go at Christmas time and then to a Church of England. They read the Bible every evening.
Overall feel: A delightful story of a girl who moves to a total different society, and learns the meaning of hard work. She learns truths and lessons she would’ve never learned, had she not endured the trials. Kit learns the value of love and friendship, of humility and the reward of hard work. An interesting and engaging read, full of Kit’s scrapes and spunk.