It's senior year at St. Joan's Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can't. First it's the school's queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Only Colleen - who's been reading The Crucible for extra credit - comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago...
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by Katherine Howe
by James Howe
"Khristine Hvam narrates parallel stories of witchcraft in seventeenth-century Salem and a mystery illness that strikes a private girlsÕ school in present-day Massachusetts. Hvam expertly differentiates the plotlines, using a refined and quiet voice for the story of Ann Putnam, while the contemporary story, told through the eyes of high school senior Colleen Rowley, is more fast paced and vibrant. ColleenÕs voice has all the emotion of a stressed-out teen who is trying to cope with the pressures of high school. All the supporting characters, from the school nurse to ColleenÕs ÒmaybeÓ boyfriend, have distinct voices that fit their roles. AnnÕs part of the plot doesnÕt have as much action, but HvamÕs delivery creates a narrative drive that keeps listeners engaged. E.N. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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