A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi
Great Episodes Series
Unabridged, 7 hr. 13 min.
Laura Hicks (Narrator)
May 1, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA
Source: Received download from the publisher as part of Audiobook Jukebox Solid Gold Reviewer Program
“Susanna desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage. What she doesn't realize is that the girls are about to set off a torrent of false accusations leading to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people. Susanna faces a painful choice. Should she keep quiet and let the witch-hunt panic continue, or should she "break charity" with the group--and risk having her own family members named as witches?”
This was my second go-around with this book – the first time I read it I was in my early teens – and I remembered loving the book, but didn’t remember much about the book other than that.
As a part of her Great Episodes series, this book deals with a segment of history that was very important – in this case, the Salem witch trials.
Rinaldi chooses a protagonist who is sort of situated just outside the circle of drama. Susanna isn’t one of the girls who call out witches, she isn’t one of those who is called out, however this drama does envelop her. It was nice to see someone who wasn’t one of the “afflicted girls” for once. It gives a different side to the story – a outsiders perspective.
Unlike many YA HF novels, there isn’t a love story/triangle here. The history isn’t just used as a background event, it really digs in, but still keeps it engaging and interesting for the younger set. One of the author’s strengths is keeping the story appropriate for a young audience, but still readable/enjoyable for the adult set.
I certainly want to read more of Rinaldi’s books, and I’m hoping that more of them continue to be released on audio.
The narrator on this audio production did a great job at portraying the characters differently and making them distinct personas. For once, the narration didn’t sound ridiculous when she would voice male characters. I would listen to her narrating another novel.
Author Ann Rinaldi also has written many, many other YA historical fiction novels. You can find a complete listing of her novels on Rinaldi’s website.
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