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The Afflicted Girls

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  52 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
"Something terrible happened in Salem in 1692 . . . but it isn't what you think!"

THE AFFLICTED GIRLS A Novel of Salem by author-researcher Suzy Witten presents a startling new theory of the Salem Witch Hunt which is certain to put this 300-year-old unsettled mystery to rest by expertly guiding readers through the Historical Record to revelation. Part parable, part star-cr
Paperback, 456 pages
Published November 20th 2009 by DREAMWAND (first published October 31st 2009)
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The Crucible by Arthur MillerThe Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine HoweThe Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen KentThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George SpeareA Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi
Best of the Salem Witch Trials
31st out of 61 books — 159 voters
The Year-God's Daughter by Rebecca LochlannNumber 13 by M.G. WellsOf Moths and Butterflies by V.R. ChristensenDahlia's Bouquet by Tammara AguadoCemetery Street by John Zunski
Adopt an Indie: November 2011
8th out of 72 books — 44 voters

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Community Reviews

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Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Feb 11, 2011 Shellie (Layers of Thought) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers
Recommended to Shellie (Layers of Thought) by: Suzy Witten
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

Actually 4.5 stars.

When two young friends, both orphans, arrive in Salem MA in 1692, the litigious and imbalanced nature of a community sets in motion a horrific series of events. The author uses a unique perspective around why she thinks this may have occurred.

About: This is set around actual events where the warped moral boundaries and a desire for revenge inflame the emotions of a local pastor and a selfish young woman. Situations are manipulated fo
Ana Mardoll
Mar 03, 2011 Ana Mardoll rated it it was ok
Shelves: ana-reviewed
The Afflicted Girls / 978-0-615-32313-8

It is my belief that any historical novel must be subjected to two questions in a review - first, is the material historically accurate, and second, is the material pleasant and engaging to read.

In answer to the first question, as an avid student of the Salem witch trials, I can say that "The Afflicted Girls" is the least historically-accurate Salem artifact I have encountered. Much of the novel feels like a very loose re-write of Arthur Miller's "The Cruc
Paulette Mahurin
Dec 08, 2012 Paulette Mahurin rated it it was amazing
Suzy Witten’s The Afflicted Girls is a masterfully interwoven story of a dark period in history, the Salem Witch Trials, a debacle of deceit by false accusations of young girls, spun out of control to devastating consequences of injustice and death to innocents. The horror of a lie, that spreads like the plague to catch its victims and hold them to the destruction of others, is sewn into the story line way early on, so the reader knows what is to come and as the tension builds so does the mind b ...more
Suzy Witten
Dec 13, 2011 Suzy Witten rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
A Journal of History and Fiction

Winter Issue 2011

"The Afflicted Girls"
Review by Paula Day

There is that stand by concern about how historically accurate one must be when writing historical fiction. Some will argue that writers of historical fiction should be 100% accurate, as if novelists were stand-ins for historians. After all, they say, if one is writing with historical information, then one should share that information accurately. Others will argue that perhaps the fac
Jo Butler
Aug 04, 2011 Jo Butler rated it really liked it
Imagine a town, carved out of wilderness nearly four hundred years ago by a small group of settlers. The leaders who ruled this colony were guided by the Bible and English law, and by their own ruthless determination. Residents who did not bow to the colony’s governors and ministers were expelled. The colony survived internal conflict and a brief war with the region’s indigenous people, and came to prosper.

Sixty years later, most of the old leaders have passed to their heavenly rewards. The seco
Gwyn Ryan
Mar 16, 2010 Gwyn Ryan rated it it was amazing
This realistic novelization of the Salem Witch Trials was a joy to read. I often shy from historical fiction, particularly novels in which the author has held close to the true events (as Witten clearly has done), because I usually find them dry and lacking in a clear narrative voice. Witten's novel suffers neither of these defects -- her characters are fully developed with voices that inspire sincere empathy. Witten provides a rational and convincing set of circumstances that could realisticall ...more
Wendy Bertsch
Sep 20, 2015 Wendy Bertsch rated it really liked it
The Salem Witch Trials have fascinated people for over 300 years. A frenzy of accusation and executions, followed by recantation and vindication—but much too late. It’s the stuff of horror stories.

How could this madness be triggered by the wild accusations of children and adolescents? Oh, so easily. There’s always someone who has something to gain...

The author has spun a terrifying tale, drawing us deftly into the minds and hearts of the major characters. Her story makes sense. It could have hap
Glen Craney
Nov 05, 2013 Glen Craney rated it it was amazing
I had the good fortune of being present at the creation and evolution of this wonderful novel over many weeks participating in a professional writers' workshop. I would look forward to each new chapter brought in by Ms. Witten for our reading and critique, because the story grabbed me from the start and I could sense that we were being led toward a radical new interpretation of what happened in Salem during those tense and tragic times. It takes a great deal of courage for an author to take on a ...more
Apr 07, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
Reading this book was a lot like watching the movie The Titanic. No matter how hard you gesture toward the screen, you can't make that boat turn faster. No matter much I hoped for certain characters to triumph, I knew what was coming. The story is heart-breaking at times, fills you with anger one moment, and then leaves you with a glimmer of hope. Very well written, this story will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and leave you reflecting on on human nature both historically and in ...more
Julie Dawson
Mar 08, 2010 Julie Dawson rated it really liked it
My full review is available here:
Jun 16, 2011 Moriah rated it it was amazing
Superb story, well-researched, skillfully written and highly entertaining.
Marta  Weeks
Jan 07, 2015 Marta Weeks rated it it was amazing
A gripping story.
Cheryl Kent
This novel describes the build up to the Salem witch trials. It presents a community riven with envy, feuding families, perceived injustices, power politics and petty arguements. Throw in some hormonally charged teenagers and vulnerable girls with little control over their lives and either subject to abuse or being ignored and you have a potent mix.
The author takes us through the various characters and relationships, building up to the first accusations but then there is relatively little inform
Jun 26, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it
Very interesting. Suzy Whitten weaves an intriguing tale. Not entirely historically accurate but engaging. Note, this is a dark story with a strong sexual element so not appropriate for YA readers.
Adele Clagett
I'm afraid I was not able to "get into" this book. Note: There are somewhat explicit sex/rape scenes. I'm not stating whether that is good or bad, just a warning. I did not expect that for this book.
Jun 22, 2012 Vivisection rated it it was ok
I heard this book was rape-y. But damn. I didn't expect it to be THAT rape-y. There is not a single good man in this novel; not a single man who hasn't put his penis somewhere adulterous, unwanted, or underage. Except for John Indian. And what a stereotype he was.

The women were marginally better, being mostly victims and passive under the tutelage of their menfolk who were "ministers at home."

Can't decide if this is a scathing indictment of men, Puritans, Christians or history. Either way, ther
Katie Wilson
Apr 14, 2015 Katie Wilson rated it liked it
Shelves: winter-2015
Like most people who have studied early American history, the Salem Witch Trials, are series of events that I find incredibly interesting. I was excited to read this novel, (it is a fictional account of the trails), but ended up having mixed feelings at the end.

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Elizabeth Periale
May 04, 2011 Elizabeth Periale rated it it was ok
My review - more 2 and 3/4 stars - my review -
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Suzy Witten's career spans twenty years in the entertainment industry: as a filmmaker, screenwriter, story analyst, and editor for film and television. A graduate of USC's School of Cinematic Arts, she was nominated for a Women In Film filmmaking award, and was a Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Finalist for her story of Salem. Currently, she works as an External Affairs program liaison during disas ...more
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