Laurel I PERSONALLY didn't think the beginning was that slow...but I'm definitely in the minority. read through the reviews; almost everyone agrees with you. BUT almost everybody thought it was a real page turner after the first 120 or so pages. Stick with it; it's really exciting.
Susan The beginning is slow - it just recounts the life of a 9 year old girl during that time period. But then it picks up and runs with the story. I am glad I finished it. It was worth the read.
Dan Spurrill I finished reading this some weeks ago. Yes it was hard t read, but it did get better. first it dragged a lot, then it got depressing. It was sad that so many people died because of fear - largely because they were different, and challenged abusive authority. Others were bullies who attacked those they saw as vulnerable. The most important part is it is fictionalizsd history - part of Kathleen Kent's family history.