Last week I went on book tour through New England for The Traitor’s Wife, my second novel— a fictionalized account of Thomas and Martha Carrier, my grandparents back nine generations. Thomas, by family legend and historical accounts, was a soldier for Cromwell during the English Civil War, and Martha Allen Carrier was later hanged in Salem in 1692 as an accused witch. The weather during my stay was gorgeous for most of the week and I had the opportunity to visit some historical sites in Danvers, which was called Salem Village during the time of the witch trials.
Pictured here is the Rebecca Nurse home which has been lovingly preserved and is open to the public at various times. Poor Rebecca Nurse: she was one of the nineteen men and women hanged for the crime of witchcraft, along with one of her sisters, Mary Easty. Another sister, Sarah Cloyce, was arrested and later released. The day I visited the grounds, the weather was warm and sunny, the surrounding fields still green. It was hard to imagine that so much death and destruction occured so near by, and that many good and decent people were wrenched from their homes and families, thrown into prison and later executed based on the testimony of a few hysterical girls.
I also visited the Danvers’ memorial to the 19 men and women hanged, and to Giles Corey who was pressed to death under heavy stones. It is a touching memorial, yet somehow out of place, nestled as it is in the middle of a modest suburban neighborhood.
Martha never wavered in her insistence of her innocence, she never accused another person, even when 4 of her 5 children were arrested, and went to her death saying to her judges, “Shame on you for listening to these folks who are out of their wits.”
I fervently hoped, as I stood looking at the memorial, that I would be as principled and as courageous as Martha had been in standing up for what she believed to be the right course of action.
Following are the wonderful, supportive bookstores that hosted me for a week of author talks. Many heartfelt thanks to them. Where would we be without our bookstores!!!!!
Bookstore of Gloucester, Gloucester, Mass
Baker Books, Dartmouth, Mass.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.
Spirit of ’76 Bookstore, Marblehead, Mass
Jabberwocky Books, Newburyport, Mass.
Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH
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