Mary's grandmother is executed for witchcraft, and Mary is forced to leave her home to avoid the same fate. At first she flees to the English countryside, but when the atmosphere of superstition and suspicion becomes all consuming she leaves on a boat for America in the hope that she can start over and forget her past. But during the journey, she realizes that the past is not so easy to escape.
After finally reaching America they land in Salem. The people they expected to already have settled the land are missing and a lot of decisions have to be made.This story is based off a journal told from Mary's point of view. The thoughts of witchcraft have travelled with them from England, and spoken of several times in the boat voyage over and of course continue in Salem. Her story/diary in the first half of the book concentrates more on the traveling and the every day life. Indians are introduced and are very helpful to the pioneers with help supplying them food and finding other white people settled "nearby." Though witchcraft and Indians are introduced this story is 80% the daily life of the early enlish settlers in America.
As the story goes on you see more anxiety, sickness and more controversy happening in the towns. The story of course is told in a calm tone I think it was more of a Middle Grade read. Overall I think the story was told very well and was interesting and written well.
Celia Rees has several other novels out City of Shadows (Celia Rees Supernatural Trilogy) Pirates!Sorceress (Witch Child) Witch Childand The Fool's Girl being her newest. If you are interested in her website http://www.celiarees.com/