Laura's Reviews > Tituba of Salem Village

Tituba of Salem Village by Ann Petry
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's review
Mar 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, young-adult, african-american
Read from March 10 to 18, 2011

The Witch of Blackbird Pond was my introduction to the Witch Trials of the colonial times. As I grew up and learned more about history, I learned about Salem and its witch issues. I read about Abigail and her cohorts and watched PBS specials about witches in US history. Finally, about three years ago, I heard about a book which presented Tituba's side of the story. I didn't find a copy of the book, though, until last summer.

Titube of Salem Village barely touches on the witch trials. Instead, it tells of Tituba's arrival to the colonies from Barbados, her training as a weaver, medicine woman, and housekeeper. It describes her marriage to John Indian and her life as a slave in Colonial America.

The novel describes conditions that set up the witch trials although it never fully explains why they occurred. Perhaps, that's because we still don't really know why. Abigail is spiteful and full of malice. The other young women are portrayed as bored, overworked, or overly imaginative.

Titube focuses on the first three witches accused. The "witches" are victims of teen malice and malaise. Of the first three witches, two die--one of hanging; the other of illness. Tituba, we finally learn, becomes a slave of the man who paid her jail fees and lives the rest of her life with her husband in Boston.

Tituba of Salem Village reignited my desire to study the witch trials further, on a more adult level. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to consider a new point of view for an intriguing blip in American history.
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Reading Progress

03/10/2011 page 134
49.0% "Not a lot of love lost between Abigail and Tituba."
06/04/2016 marked as: read

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