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100 Pages A Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews

I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way.  I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.

One of Windsor

One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America's First Witch Hanging - Beth M Caruso

Another one for Halloween Bingo!  I'm going to use this for the set in New England square. 


Alice began life in England and is soon orphaned, left to be raised by her mother’s family, the Tinkers.  Alice and her mother shared a gift of intuition and prophetic dreams, although Alice never found a way to help anyone with her knowledge.  As Alice grows, Mary Tinker attempts to find a place for her.  The Holman family on their way to Massachusetts Bay Colony in need of help with their children offers a perfect opportunity.  Alice is saddened to leave the only family she knows, but enjoys the Holman children and Winifred Holman’s company.  Once in the colony Winifred and Alice learn the medicinal plants and healing arts from the Native Americans.  Alice reunites with the Tinkers once again when they move to the Colonies.  She takes an offer of marriage and settles near the rest of the Tinker clan.  When illness strikes the town, Alice does her best to help her neighbors and family with her knowledge of herbs. However, in the winter her stores run dry.  When the illness passes, neighbors and friends are grieving their losses and turn on the person who tried to help.


When most people think of witch trials in America, they automatically think of Salem.  However, the very first person to be tried and hung as a witch has been almost forgotten to history.  With compassion and much digging through historical records, Beth Caruso has reimagined the life of a woman so far only known as “One ---- of Windsor.”  Now thought to be “One Alice Young of Windsor,” her life and path to being an accused witch is brought forth in vivid detail.  I was very impressed by all of the historical period detail.  Life in the new Colonies was rough and Alice’s experience reflected this.  I enjoyed reading about her relationships with the Native Americans and appreciated the honest way that most Colonists saw them.  Furthermore, I thought the tension created from religion, the unknown and fear of a new land created a perfect storm for accusations of witchcraft.  As the story progressed, I fell for Alice and the injustices that were quickly spiraling out of control around her; however, I also knew that she was hiding something.  I loved that Alice’s story was told through and then, after her downfall, the truth and secrets were revealed.  One of Windsor did a fabulous job of recreating the life of someone that history tried to forget as well as tying in the fears and hysteria of the time that people still try to use today in order to oppress groups of people.