By Cynthia Bujnicki
The Salem Witch Trial’s took Violet’s mother away, She can’t let go of the past, of the harm, of the hatred and feat that still lingers in the air. Filled with rage and anger, Violet joins Tammy Younger and Elizabeth Prince, two girls who’re also seeking vengeance after the aftermath. But when harm starts to befall the people of Salem, Violet embarks on a journey of forgiveness
Published by Yellow Jacket/Little Bee Books Only the Stars Know Her Name: Salem’s Lost Story of Tituba’s Daughter by Amanda Marrone is a tale of finding forgiveness in a time when fear inspired hatred and persecution.
A fascinating novel that not only follows the aftermath of the Salem Witch Trials but also gives a voice to a person lost to history.
Little is known about Violet Indian, daughter of Tituba, the first to be accused of witchcraft and the first to confess and name co-conspirators. This novel follows Violet during the aftermath of the trials, leaving her an orphan slave, a practice too horrifying common during these dark times. It is a tale that follows the Salem hysteria aftermath, giving insight into the world for young readers to understand how much hate and fear and control a body of people. This makes for a compelling read as well as an important one for young readers in helping them understand today’s socially divided climate.
For Violet, the Salem Witch Trials turned her life upside down. Betty and Abigail, although they were her “masters,” were her friends. By establishing these dynamics, This shows how racism is taught, not inherited. Moreover, for her newfound friends, Violet is a means to power and revenge. Violet falls into the same trap the people of Salem fell into, the trap of letting hatred blind. However, with the power she has, she learns not to let it blind her. Violet learns, and through learning goes on this powerful journey of forgiveness and acceptance.
Appropriate for young readers, this story shows how society should not discriminate or give in to fear and hatred, to everything that breeds social conflict. It teaches the lesson that racism is taught and that the best way to go through life is not by living in fear or in that darkness, but instead through love and forgiveness. Violet goes on this journey, emotionally and mentally, sending a powerful message to young readers. The historical context additionally gives the message depth and furthermore shows the dangers of mass hysteria and giving in to fear and hatred while also resonating with the world today, making it a truly remarkable and relatable read. (★★★★☆)