Reviewed for Great Minds Think Aloud:
Her Dear and Loving Husband by Meredith Allard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Set against a backdrop of contemporary Salem, where all seems to be divided from the long-distant past by a mere thin veil, this novel unravels threads of history, legend, and the paranormal, of past lives and reincarnation and repressed memories stirred up in dreams. Despite, or perhaps due to, its tragic early history in the 17th century, the witch hysteria, witch hunts, and executions, Salem, Massachusetts is now a village thriving on its memory, a community catering to tourism via recalling, replaying, and capitalizing on that backstory. Sarah Alexander, growing up in Boston, had always wanted to visit, but could never persuade her mother. From a great-aunt, Sarah learned that there was supposedly an ancestress executed for witchcraft, but the name and other details were unknown.
After an unhappy and unfruitful decade of marriage in Los Angeles, newly-divorced Sarah decides to move to Salem, taking up employment as a librarian. As events unfold, and her nightmares and dreams intensify, Sarah must begin to ask herself if she moved here at random; to satisfy a childhood longing; or as the pawn of forces much more powerful than she can imagine-forces such as fate, destiny-and undying love?
Readers steeped in paranormal lore and in the history of witch hunts will find this novel particularly engrossing, with its otherworldy and historical flavours.
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