This may just be y favorite book out of the slew of fiction I've read this year. It's a juxtaposed tale of a Harvard grad student in the midst of her dissertation research set against the events surrounding the Salem witch trials in 1692. As you might expect, the two stories end up intertwining, but that is by no means a criticism.
This is a warm, beautifully crafted story, and the texture of Connie's world is very believable to me in a way that dreamy, detail-oriented narratives are to sentimentalists and dreamers. It's a story about a lot of things including the power of women, the hysteria of crowds, the place of people within a natural order, and most of all, family and all that entails.