Condemn Me Not by Heather B. Moore
As time and distance and research has taught us, the Salem Witch Trials were a travesty of prejudice taken to the extreme. While Condemn Me Not does highlight the fact that the Trials were primarily the result of a family moving into the area and taking over everything by using the trials to get rid of obstacles, it is definitely not the main focus of the book.
Condemn Me Not switches back and forth between Susannah’s time in the Salem prison leading up to her hanging and when she was a young woman, first meeting her husband George Martin. Their love story, while occurring under the strict rules of the Puritan lifestyle, is not staid and boring. It is a truly beautiful story of enduring love and faithfulness. And while Heather didn’t exactly have all of her great (many times over) grandmother’s diaries to work with, she had a lot of evidence to base Susannah and George’s story on.
Learning a bit more about the Trials, along side this beautiful love story was very interesting. I wasn’t sure at first that I’d like it. After all, wrongful imprisonment paralleling a Puritan courtship? Sounds thrilling. (note the sarcasm in that last sentence.) But it truly was. Heather balanced Susannah’s fiery personality with her compassion for people. It was much more balanced that I originally thought it would be. And the excerpts from the Trials themselves were more interesting than I had expected.
If I were to sum up this book with one quote, it would be this one. Days before her hanging, Susannah dreams George (who had been dead for seven years already) came to collect her to go home. Here’s what he looked like when he came:
“The lines around his eyes and mouth are ones that I am familiar with. They represent our years together, working side by side, raising our children, loving each other, fighting with each other. Forgiving each other.”
This was truly a beautiful love story, set in the midst of Trails. It is well worth the read.
About Heather B. Moore
Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty publications. Her historical novels and thrillers are written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women’s fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah. Heather is represented by Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.
Literary awards: 2019 Maggie Award Winner, 6-time Best of State Recipient for Best in Literary Arts, 4-time Whitney Award Winner, and 2-time Golden Quill Award Winner
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