Review Blog

Mar 27 2018

How to hang a witch by Adriana Mather

cover image Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406378795
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Salem Witch Trials, Supernatural, Relationships. I couldn't wait to read this book as I have long held an interest in the Salem Witch Trials and I love spooky books. It did not disappoint.
Adriana Mather's story How to Hang a witch weaves an intricate and compelling story whose pace draws the reader in and it is truly one of those books that you cannot put down. I was often caught up with the intent just to read one more chapter which quickly turned into four more chapters and so on. What makes the story more delicious is that fact that author Adriana Mather is a descendant of Cotton Mather so can truly weave fact and fiction seamlessly together to make the reader feel that this could have happened.
We follow the arrival back into Salem of Samantha Mather and her step mother Vivian following her father's illness and subsequent coma. It is a roller coaster ride taking the reader from strange paranormal occurrences usually surrounding Samantha, to her interactions with the "descendants" a group of enigmatic teenagers who were related to the original witches of the trials. We also are witnesses to the beginnings of new love.
The writing style is very relatable and the spooky elements of the book are well handled with attention to detail which lacks in other books of a similar genre. Adriana Mather brings the town of Salem to life in the book and makes the reader wish to visit. It is a great book for readers who want a scare but not to be traumatised. You feel so much for Sam Mather as the story progresses and her character is appealing as you can imagine her to be real and her struggles are representative of what modern teenagers experience.
The one element that surprised me is the underlying theme of kindness that appears a few pages in and is ever-present right up to the exciting conclusion. The ending is fantastic and I am hopeful that this is the first of a few in a series of books involving Sam Mather and the other characters in the book. It would be too much to think that their stories are over by the end of this book. A great read.
If you like this genre read Bad Girls don't die by Kate Alender or Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty.
Elaine Grottick

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