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Father of Lies

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Truth or Lies?

Lidda knew, with a clarity that was like a candle in a dark room, that all had changed; something was loosed in the village—Devil or not—and they would pay for it, every last man, woman, and child.

Fourteen-year-old Lidda has always known she was different. She longs to escape Salem Village and its stifling rules—to be free to dance, to sing, to live as she ch
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  169 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog
Rating of a 4, but with reservations.

This was originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

Father of Lies by Ann Turner is set in Colonial Massachusetts, just before the start of the Salem Witch Trials. 14 year old Lidda is struggling to find her place within her family and Salem Village. She's always been different. She's a dreamer who loves to dance beneath the trees and hates the restrictive garb she is required to wear but she lives in a time period that expressly fo
Jennifer Wardrip
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Ashley B for

Lidda lives in Salem Village with her family. She is different; she knows this, and so does everyone around her. She wishes of doing things that others have never dreamt of. She wants to dance and sing and fly with the birds. Her family just thinks she is crazy - maybe she will grow out of it.

And then there is talk around the village that the Devil has come. Witch fever.

Lidda doesn't believe any of it. And she has prove that these girls and their accusati
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well as you probably already know I’m a total history fanatic. One subject I am particularly obsessed with is the Salem Witch Trials. With these particular novels I usually find that the MC is always more spirited and free minded than the rest of the village. Lidda fits this description but I think the author did a much better job really putting you into the time period than other novels. The one aspect that truly separates good historical fiction from the great is the ability to transport the r ...more
Nov 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Review originally posted at:

Father of Lies serves as a reminder of the extreme consequences when a voice is lent to untruths, shedding light on a period of history when the thrill of power and control overwhelmed reason and morality, leaving good people swinging from the end of a rope while the accusers spouted venom followed by half-hearted apologies. The story transports us to the middle of a brutally cold Salem Village, the freezing temperat
Melanie Goodman
It’s 1692 in Salem, MA and young girls are starting to have fits of hallucinations and sickness. They blame their maladies on witches, and it turns into a mass hysteria. The time, setting, and names will be familiar to anyone who has read about the Salem Witch Trials. Within this historical period, though, is a new player: Lidda. Lidda begins seeing and hearing the devil, but her experiences are different than the other girls in town. She questions her own sanity, and whether the rest of them ar ...more
Kari Anderson
Close your eyes and think back to Salem, 1692. If you’re having a hard time, let me make it easier for you. The olden days, when you only got a bath every couple of weeks, if that. No heat, no electricity, no fast food. Yeah, that was a life that people really lived. A recent study shows that Christianity is decreasing at such a rate in the US that Atheists are actually outnumbering Christians. Also, not even a fact in 1692. Actually, religion and work were the two focuses of life at this time. ...more
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Lidda has the ability to sense when someone is telling the truth or a lie. She can't stand the confines that living in Salem forces upon her. She longs to leave Salem and go to a place where she can be free to express herself however she chooses. She may just get what she wishes when a string of witch accusations spreads through her village. She feels different inside, can hear a voice speaking to her in her head, and knows that the girls who accuse the villagers are lying. But how can Lidda spe ...more
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
On the outside, Lidda appears to be normal. She tends to her baby brother Thomas and does chores with her sisters Charity and Susannah. On the inside, however, she is an absolute mess. After recently going through puberty, she begins hearing a voice speaking to her in her head. Terrified at first, she thinks this is the work of the Devil himself. But the voice calls himself Lucian, and he is both seductive and powerful. Then strange things begin to happen to other girls in her village. They have ...more
Jessica Bierschied
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
FATHER OF LIES, by Ann Turner dives into the time of the Salem Witch Trials and the hardships that every man, woman and child had to experience. I was almost instantly sucked in and it was hard to put down.

I have never read anything, other than textbooks about the Salem Witch Trials. I have been to Salem, and seen all the witch houses but reading this book I really felt like I was there. Turner uses subtle details that set the scene perfectly. I could feel the setting around me like I was standi
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
This book took me some time to read, but it was a good book. It was based in Salem during the witch trials and had an interesting twist on the story involving the Bipolar main character. There was mystery, drama, and history. I was confused at parts, but once I got through the book and had read the author's foreword I understood certain aspects of the story a bit more.
Heather Miller
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a good book was an interesting concept to deal with mental illness with the back drop of the Salem witch trials. It did take me a while to read it was a little slow moving in parts.
Jamie Z.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
The idea was really cool but the execution was iffy.
Katieb (MundieMoms)
3.5 stars

Father of Lies is the re-telling of the Salem Witch Trials, but with a few twists. Unlike some of the stories that are written surrounding this event, Ann Turner brings her story to life by keeping crucial historical parts of the story, as well as introducing a new perspective on these events. Keeping some of the names we've all read about it before, Ann introduces a fresh face to the story with her character Lidda. Ann not only puts Lidda at the center of the Witch Trails, but Lidda he
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
3.5 stars

Father of Lies is the re-telling of the Salem Witch Trials, but with a few twists. Unlike some of the stories that are written surrounding this event, Ann Turner brings her story to life by keeping crucial historical parts of the story, as well as introducing a new perspective on these events. Keeping some of the names we've all read about it before, Ann introduces a fresh face to the story with her character Lidda. Ann not only puts Lidda at the center of the Witch Trails, but Lidda he
May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok

Father Of Lies Review:
Father Of Lies? I feel like Book Of Lies would have been a more suitable title. Now, I am not trying to completely bash this book I am merely stating my opinion of it.
Based off the title I was not expecting the book to be about the Salem trials or bipolar disorder. Those were my first two shocks but these shocks also perked my interest. Reading through the book, going along the main character, Lidda's, life you learn the twists and turns of her life and the town in the ho
Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm always wary of historical fiction in the YAF genre. Teens and pre-teens have so little grasp of what is really based in history and what is just a glamorized version of real historical events. With this in mind, I began this book with trepidation. Lidda is 14 years old and different than the other girls her age in the quiet good town of Salem, Massachusetts during the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. While the other girls, including her sister, are concerned with being good, respectable, ...more
It is the winter of 1692 in the village of Salem, Massachusetts. Fourteen-year-old Lidda Johnson has always felt different from everyone else in her strict Puritan village. She longs to dance and sing and be free. She also has hallucinations and hears a voice inside her, a voice that calls himself Lucian. She doesn't understand why this is happening to her and is afraid to tell anyone. Her family has always thought her a bit odd, and as her behavior becomes stranger, she struggles to hide it fro ...more
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Throughout most of this book, I was kept off-balance and wondering what was really going on. The story is told through the perspective of an odd fourteen-year-old girl named Lidda, as she watches the seemingly orchestrated but chaotic rise of the Salem witch accusations.

I am a mature reader and frankly, I found this book disturbing on several levels. I am not convinced that I would encourage a teenager to tackle this subject. The whole mob mentality and the excessive enjoyment this comm
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was on the New Releases shelf at my library and so I decided to check it out. It seemed pretty creepy, judging by the book description. And the first couple of chapters were.
But then as I got farther into the story, it kind of reminded me of the Crucible. (If you've never read the Crucible, it is a play written by Arthur Miller that depicts the Salem Witch Trials.)

Father of Lies was very well researched by the author and included many of the people that were actually living in Salem i
Tammy Dahle
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
My Thoughts:
I love historical fiction-especially when it involves things that are shocking and mysterious. Such as the Salem Witch Trials. Where during the 17th century a small village in America becomes obsessed with finding witches in their midst. Anyone who is different(a woman who runs a tavern and wears bright colors) or has wronged someone(a person who is late paying a bill) is accused and tried. Some of these trials lead to the deaths of the accused.
The main character of the book is 14 ye
I reading about two things – the Salem Witch Trials and mental illness. Father of Lies combines them both, so I was bound to enjoy this book as much as I did.

Lidda was a great main character. I found her different than most of the female characters I’ve read about during time period. Lidda loves to do all the things that are looked down on in Salem. How dare a young woman want to dance! Absolutely shocking! Lidda definitely felt the confines of the expectations that were placed on her by her com
Feb 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm kind of obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials, so I happily dived into this book. Came away feeling that it's enjoyable, but definitely could have gone on so much longer . It's just over 250 pages, but its dimensions are smaller than average - perhaps to make it look like it's longer?

Turner explores the first few months of witch histeria in Salem - we don't even make it to the first round of executions - through Lidda, a girl who is also seeing things and hearing voices. She's always felt lik
Sep 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-teen, meh
This book is very internal (which is something I don't normally enjoy in a book) and yet I found myself liking it. I am very interested in any type of witch trial book, and having read quite a few, I didn't find this overly original (though I do understand that one only has so much to work with). The first two or three chapters were hooking and a little creepy, but the rest of the book just seems to go without much suspense. Although people were being accused of witchcraft and tried, I didn't fe ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it liked it
I wasn't sure what this book was trying to do at first. Eventually I decided the main character was bipolar or schizophrenic, which the author clarified at the end. Other than that the book is about the Salem Witch Trials, and it did have interesting bits of history of living in that time period. But I just couldn't get into it.

Product Description

Truth or Lies?

Lidda knew, with a clarity that was like a candle in a dark room, that all had changed; something was loosed in the village—Devil or not—
Jul 12, 2011 rated it liked it

To start off, this book presented a few challenges for me. I hesitated to pick it up because of the entire premise. I love historical fiction, but the Salem witch trials never really did it for me. I always found the delirium around those event so unappealing.

The events in Father of Lies were interesting in a different way than the usual paranoia. Lidda is so different than the other girls who are claiming witchcraft. She sees them as being attention-seeking, and using their power to gain some
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got this book from a friend after looking over her shoulder at it (or under and around, really!) and just the name got me curious. Fortunately, she promptly finished it and let me skim a *cough* "few" pages. The setting had me raising my eyebrows at the start, because c'mon- the Salem Witch trials? That's a touchy subject in my opinion to write some fiction off of (though I don't think that anymore). After reading the first few pages though, I just let it go. I love the story- and it's not jus ...more
The themes in Father of Lies, are power and fear, and lies. Some examples are when Ann Putnam Jr. and the other girls were accusing women who were "witches", wanted the power and the attention that comes with that. An example of fear are when Lidda's family is afraid, (except Susannah) that they will be accused next. The example of lies is when Mary admits to lying, and Lidda is now positive that the girls were lying. What Ann Turner is saying about power and fear is that once you have power, yo ...more
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Excerpt from my review below. To read my full, in-depth review, go here:

"Darkly intriguing and keenly wrought, Father of Lies is an emotional and insightfully woven blend of historical fact and fiction...........................................

All in all, Father of Lies is a powerful story that shows just how dangerous the truth can sometimes be, especially when people would much rather believe the lies. Turner really did an impressive job crafting this n
Karis (YA Litwit) Jacobstein
I really liked this book. It seemed historically accurate and the author, aside from the protagonist and he family, used actual people involved in the Salem witch Trials. (view spoiler) Overall, I t ...more
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Ann Warren Turner is a children's author and a poet.
Ann Turner wrote her first story when she was eight years old. It was about a dragon and a dwarf named Puckity. She still uses that story when she talks to students about writing, to show them that they too have stories worth telling.
Turner has always loved to write, but at first she was afraid she couldn't make a living doing it. So she trained
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