Thursday, 4 March 2010

Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan

Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan

Summary: Role-playing takes on a terrifying cast when 17-year-old Sarah, who is posing as a fortune-teller for a school fair, begins to see actual visions that can predict the future. Frightened, the other students brand her a witch, setting off a chain of events that mirror the centuries-old Salem witch trials in more ways than one.

I wasn't sure whether or not I'd like this book, I've read some of Lois Duncan's other books and loved some (Stranger With My Face) and hated some (Daughters of Eve) and was unsure of others (Locked in Time) but the book was pretty good.

I love stories about the Salem Witch Trials, especially modern stories that mix past history with present fiction, which this book does. The way Lois incorperated the whole past life regression into the story was done really well and now all the books she recommended at the end to read further on the subject (as well as books about the Salem Witch Trials) are on my wish list too, it interested me that much.

I liked the main character and the character of Charlie, they were honestly the only two characters in the entire book that I actually liked - the rest made me so angry, particularly because one of the main points of the story is the fact that the town the story is set in -- and its people -- are all very strict conservative Christians to the point of being incredibly narrow minded and hateful, even violent, towards anything that is even remotely "different" and they're very hypocritical. I honestly had to keep reminding myself it was only a story to stop myself getting too worked up about it.

Although books with that subject matter tend to anger me (especially given the fact I'm Agnostic), I love reading them because they kind of show that it doesn't matter what your age or race or gender or religion is, we're all just people who are capable of good and bad.

But anyway, aside from the heavier themes in the book, it was entertaining and Lois Duncan has this way of writing stories that leaves you totally convinced that things happening in the story could happen in real life - for example: after reading Stranger With My Face, I almost believed astral projection was real and was sort of afraid and intrigued by it and after reading this book, it got me thinking about karma and past lives and psychic abilities and all that. She makes you want to read more about the subjects she brings up in her books, long after you've finished reading.

To sum up: I liked it and I recommend it (along with her other books).



  1. Ive read killing mr.griffin, by her, LOVED that one!! I haven't read this one though, I'll be sure to check it out now.

  2. I've read and loved a lot of Lois Duncan's books but I hadn't heard of this one. I'm also fascinated by the Salem witch trials! Sounds like a must-read for me, so thank you for featuring it. :)



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