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Ambrosia's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
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At the King's Pleasure
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Posted by on January 29, 2016

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials.

It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.

The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic.

As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff’s account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historian

I know non-fiction books can be dryer then fiction but this one is just something else. The author is acclaimed and many people loved her Cleopatra book but this is just way to dry. I hate that because the Salem Witch trials are a fantastic time to write about. This book was a slog from page one to page end. It had a fair amount of good details but everything was just so flat and dry history does not have to be that way.

The worst part of it for me I think was that while she gave good facts but everything was just left not connected and details that would have been interesting were cut. It feels like the author just cut all the good juicy meat off the bone and left the leanest most boring cut to be read. Not the worst book ever but it is a massive slog. You have to really be dedicated to make it through.

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