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Jennet Stearne's father hangs witches for a living in Restoration England. But when she witnesses the unjust and horrifying execution of her beloved aunt Isobel, the precocious child decides to make it her life's mission to bring down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. Armed with little save the power of reason, and determined to see justice prevail, Jennet hurls herself into a series of picaresque adventures—traveling from King William's Britain to the fledgling American Colonies to an uncharted island in the Caribbean, braving West Indies pirates, Algonquin Indian captors, the machinations of the Salem Witch Court, and the sensuous love of a young Ben Franklin. For Jennet cannot and must not rest until she has put the last witchfinder out of business.
“[An] intrepid, impeccably researched epic . . . [a] tour-de-force of early America.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An exceptionally engaging and piquantly thoughtful novel.”
“This impeccably researched, highly ambitious novel -- nine years in the writing -- is a triumph of historical fiction.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“Read[s] like a collaboration between Charles Dickens and Henry Fielding...Morrow is long overdue for a mainstream audience.”
“A book to delight fans of writers such as John Barth and T.C. Boyle. Or even Jonathan Swift.”
“[A] richly detailed, cerebral tale of rationality versus superstitious bigotry.”
-Fort Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette
“Endlessly exciting ... A grand picaresque tour of England and the American colonies ... Watch out for James Morrow: He’s magic.”
-Washington Post Book World
“Here are storytelling, showmanship and provocative book-club bait, all rolled into one inventive feat.”
-New York Times
“Grim and gorgeous, earthy and erudite as well.”
“Morrow seamlessly weaves fantasy with science and historical fact in one of the best novels of the year.”
-Rocky Mountain News
“Dazzling . . . [A]n extravagant, expansive, erudite, energetic feast of information and adventure.”
-Daily Telegraph (London)
“This lively and thoughtful adventuer is filled with enough satire and plot to fuel two Mark Twain tomes.”