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Book review: ‘Condemn Me Not’ is riveting historical romance about the Salem Witch Trials

"CONDEMN ME NOT: Accused of Witchcraft," by Heather B. Moore, Mirror Press, $15.99, 294 pages (f)

At 25 years of age, Susannah North is verging on spinsterhood in 1646 Massachusetts in “Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft.” The few available single men in her Puritan community are either old widowers saddled with multiple children or ugly bachelors. And while Susanna knows it’s a sin to consider such things as looks, she’s decided that if she does marry, it will be to a man she can at least enjoy looking at.

When she meets her handsome new neighbor, George Martin, she’s pleasantly surprised. What follows is a wonderful romance and treacherous neighbors who, almost 50 years later, will see to it that Susannah is in jail and being tried as a witch during the Salem Witch Trials.

Author Heather B. Moore has written another stunning historical novel, this time based on her 10th great-grandmother. While she’s taken a liberal writer’s license regarding the romance of Susannah and George, Moore’s stayed true to a great deal of history regarding the trial of her grandmother and its outcome. Spread throughout the book are quotations that heighten the tension felt throughout each chapter and add an amazing touch of authenticity.

Reading anything by Moore is a pleasure and “Condemn Me Not” is no exception. True to so much of what she writes, this novel continually flips back and forth between time frames at crucial moments, leaving readers continually turning pages. No matter that the outcome is already known before ever beginning the book, reading about the romance and then trial of Susannah is a captivating experience drenched in history.

“Condemn Me Not” has minimal violence, clean language and some brief sexual suggestiveness.

It has made it to the final rounds in the historical category of the 2017 Whitney Awards. The awards recognize novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elizabeth Reid thinks the Great Depression is fascinating, so she earned bachelor's degrees in both economics and history. A wife and mother, she blogs at