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Susannah Morrow [Hardcover]

Megan Chance
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 24.16 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

Sep 2002
Key Note: An irresistible blend of history, suspense, and romance, SUSANNAH MORROW captures the extraordinary drama of the Salem witch trials.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (NY) (Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446529532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446529532
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,378,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Chance wonderfully intermingles fictitious characters with actual historical figures." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I absolutely adored this book, I read it over two years ago and still have not forgotten how much I enjoyed it!

This is the first Megan Chance book I ever read, and it really amazed me how she cleverly kept the book historically correct yet made a ficition story (a romance one at that) from such an amazing period in time.

The book is set in Salem (1692) at the height of witch trials, religion and the puritans. The story consists of 3 main characters: a father, his daughter and his deceased wife's sister (Susannah).

In a time when trust is non existent, some how two people must overcome all accusations, uncertainties and confusion to fall in love and realise what they feel for one another.

Definitely a gripping book, you wont want to put it down!

Enjoy!
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charity, Lucas, and Susannah 1 Jun 2007
By Linda Pagliuco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sometimes I wonder what life must have been like for those living in Salem village in 1692. From the modern standpoint, it can be difficult to accept that these people could have been so easily swept away by what is now viewed as mass hysteria and rampant superstition. To me the value of books like Susannah Morrow is that they examine the impact of such unbelievable episodes on the lives of a few ordinary people. Chance's approach, to tell aspects of the story from the perspective of 3 members of one family, provides insight into how what happened could happen. Charity, the first narrator, has just suffered the loss of her mother and is struggling with grief and her own emerging sexuality. Her conflicts are those of the adolescent. Lucas is also struggling with his wife's death and the allure of his newly arrived sister-in-law, Susannah, who is surrounded by an aura of mystery and who possesses the warmth of spirit that so frightened the Puritans. He is a man who recognizes his own sexual needs but views them as sinful. Finally, Susannah herself, a freer thinker who badly wants to embrace her new family but can't manage to crack that Puritan shell surrounding them.

Loss is the central theme of this novel. Loss of loved ones, loss of one's own spirit, loss of personal and community control, loss of logic and reason and trust. Susannah Morrow helps the modern reader to suspend the 21st century mindset and view life from the perspective of those living in a wild, poorly understood environment both natural and of their own making. This is no historical romance, but a nice piece of historical fiction.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Salem's Best Witch 2 Nov 2006
By Tamela Mccann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Megan Chance has taken the true incident of the Salem Witch Trials and woven an excellent story around the events. Susannah Morrow is an outstanding piece of historical fiction coupled with suspense as we watch the descent into hell of a village and its occupants.

Susannah arrives in Salem Village on the night her sister, Judith, dies in childbirth. Susannah is a attractive and flambouyant, and possesses a somewhat murky past that definitely includes several lovers and possibily a stage career. Needless to say, she doesn't fit in well with the local villagers, though she decides to stay in Salem in order to take care of her sister's widower and his three daughters. As the story progresses, Charity, the eldest daughter, comes to believe her mother's specter is telling her that Susannah is evil; this idea is only reinforced for Charity when she begins to sense the growing attraction between her father, Lucas, and her aunt. Charity, desperate to fit in, begins hanging around with some girls of questionable character, and when they begin to "see" witches, she allows herself to be led into the madness. We watch in stunned silence as Charity herself begins to accuse innocent women and men, and we see the village collapse upon itself as the rumors and accusations grow wilder.

Chance has taken a dark time in America's early history and made it come alive through her tight writing and her excellent use of overlapping points of view. This book will keep you turning the pages until you reach the end, tired and satisfied. Highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting View of A Popular Topic 2 July 2005
By Kelly A. fuller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although I have read alot of book set during the Salem Witch Trials, this one still stands out to me. Susannah Morrow is a great book, filled with intrigue, seduction, sexual tension, jealousy, and of course accusation. Meghan Chance did a wonderful job giving voices to this characters, based on actual people. This is an all together satisfying book.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent tale of one of the bleakest times in (pre) American history but it pales in comparison to the author's second novel 28 May 2008
By Lilly Flora - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Upon reading Megan Chance's brilliant novel of hysteria, hypnosis and homicide "An Inconvenient Wife" I was determined to read everything she had written. At the time that included only one other novel, "Susannah Morrow." (By the way there is another author named Megan Chance who writes romance novels. This is the same person but I haven't read any of the romance novels yet so can't vouch for them. But Chance is great so I suspect they're not bad.)

I expected this novel, a story of the Salem witch trials is broken up in three parts told from the perspective of fictional characters: Charity Fowler, a 16 year old girl, Lucas Fowler, her father and Susannah Morrow, Charity's mother's sister.

Charity has the first third. Susannah arrives just as Charity's mother is giving birth to what is her last child and she dies in the process, leaving Susannah to take over running the household. But from the beginning, immediately after her mother's death Charity begins to see her mother's ghosts, warning her of evil and in the company of a black man (the devil.) Not trusting her aunt and believing the village rumors she was once an actress Charity falls into the company of her old friends-who once convinced her to commit a terrible sin. Soon they are visiting the preacher's house, where a black slave (Tituba) begins to teach them spells....

Here Lucas takes over the narrative, telling of the time when the village girls begin to fall to mysterious ailments, barking and shivering, claiming they are being forced to sign the devils book, being pinched by witches-and startling the village into paranoia and suspicion of everyone. At the same time, Lucas' obsession and physical attraction to his dead wife's sister begin to consume him, and he doesn't notice his daughter's dangerous fear and anger until it is far too late...

The rest is Susannah's story. I won't say what she goes through. That would spoil it.

The first person narration in this book is very similar to the kind used in "An Inconvenient Wife" very descriptive but at the same time sparse and a little dreamy. This reflects well with the setting as the village of Salem is so small and isolated, so cold with winter coming on that you can feel the chill winds, find your bones weary with the hard chores and long walks between houses to communicate with anyone, and the constant fear of Indian attack, illness, and evil. It is a perfectly portrayed atmosphere which stays consistent through the novel, though it is seen differently by all three characters.

In the end I enjoyed this immensely but had a very hard time getting into this novel-I picked it up and put it down several times before I reached page 80, but finally things got more interesting and I stuck with it. Aside from the slow start something that dragged the novel down was the fragmented narration-it was great to know what everyone felt about things of course, but I would have loved to have Charity's perspective on the latter parts of the book and because of its lack I completely stopped understanding her. Was she mad with grief, faking madness or something else altogether? How did she really feel about the accusations of over 100 friends and neighbors-one as young as four years old, were accused of witchcraft and 19 where hung for it? For that matter how did others in the village. A wider view would have made this novel better for me, but really it's about one family's experience through the trials, not a novel about the event in whole.

And I believe that this book accomplished what must have been the author's goal-to bring the horror and confusion and mob madness that infected New England to the light and expose what happened in all its lack of glory.

Still I can't say I enjoyed this book as much as "An Inconvenient Wife." In spite of all the history involved, there is really less of a story and plot here because of the fragmentation of the book. However the writing style and overall tone has reinforced my conviction that Megan Chance is an author to watch out for and I plan on reading her third book as soon as I finish this review.

Three stars (but perhaps this is because of suffering by comparison.)

A question for those who know more about the Salem witch trials then me- wasn't there a real charity involved in the trials somehow? Or do I have it wrong that this one was fictional (though the author herself states it in her after note...) anyway, let me know!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensual and spiritual approach to the Salem Witch Trials. 3 July 2005
By MAB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"Susannah Morrow: A Novel of Salem" was a very interesting book. I've never read a book dealing with the viewpoint of a condemned witch or anything dealing with the witch's point of view (the jailing to be exact). There were three main characters narrating, Charity, Lucas, and Susannah, although Charity was only showcased once, and I would have liked an additional chapter of her point of view when she became "possessed." While I enjoyed the book for its historical merits, I felt the character development was lacking. I wanted to know more about Charity and her relationship with the girls who cried out against the witches. I wanted to know more about Lucas and why he was so devout to his religion, the family he left behind, his feelings concerning the many children he lost after his wife gave birth, why he felt more passion for Susannah than his wife, and a better transition in his personality concerning his children. Susannah was a wishy-washy character; she was sinful because she lived and slept with men she was not married to, but why did she see this as the only way to escape her life with her father, why did she feel something other than physical attraction for Lucas, and why did she have such a strong maternal instinct? I was left with many questions about the characters. Finally, I would have liked there to be an Epilogue in addition to the Author's Note. The book did have a large amount dialogue, but I felt that it brought to life the story much better than just plain descriptions. And I was interested in how author Megan Chance brought out sexuality during the Salem Witch trials and Puritan time, as that is hardy ever a focal point in books related to this time period. For the historical fiction aspect, I recommend.
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