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PostPosted: 16 May 2015, 18:14 
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Joined: 16 May 2015, 18:07
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WITCH HUNT by Linda Chalmer Zemel, copyright Déjà vu Productions
Story statement:
Lee Hunt hasn’t yet figured out the importance of her name when her difficult daughter, her tentative new love interest, and the reading public discover that she is—or was-- Witch Hunt. Together, they find a way to exit the loop of time before she meets a premature end—again.
The antagonistic force:
Lee Hunt is working against powerful forces that seem to cross individual lives with a life of their own. Synchronicities-- coincidences too coincidental to be coincidental—make them knowable. But it isn’t until recently-widowed Lee moves from her suburban Buffalo home to Salem, MA, that all hell breaks loose in her life. The apparent reason: She has bought a condo built on land once belonging to an unjustly accused witch. But will there be justice this time around?
The historical events are based partly on those included in a book, Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II, by Charles Wentworth Upham, published in 1867 and available through the Gutenberg Project online. These events happened to the only male witch in the Salem stories, a man who kept repeating “More weight” as his executioners piled heavy stones on his chest. Similar events begin to happen, seemingly out of the blue, one after another piling weight onto her life. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17845/17 ... 1-htm.html
Some characters try to help—her Tai Chi teacher, her new boss at the radio station, her own college age kids, her granny, and her mother. But no one really gets it until Lee is accidentally (or not) pointed in the direction of a guest on her radio interview program, an anthropologist who has studied unusual tribal customs. Because he is able to fully understand the abstract idea and the current reality of a witch hunt—he teams up with her psychology graduate student daughter and finds a way out of a terrifying loop of time. The answer lies is “solving for x”: What did the witch who died in this way do next that saved his life even if only for a while? And what didn’t he do that might have saved his life even further and that Lee might still have a chance to accomplish?

A breakout title:
Witch Hunt
Salem Revisited

Genre and comparables
Political intrigue: Tom Clancy
Professional gets involved in mystery: Robin Cook
Mystery: Agatha Christie, Sue Grafton

Conflict line: A young widow, already vulnerable and seeking answers, moves to Salem, MA, to take a new job as a radio commentator, but meets up with--and must resolve—one of her own past lives.
Inner conflict: Lee falls in love with the last condo to be built in a thriving subdivision. She purchases it with her own salary, backed by an insurance windfall from her late lawyer husband. She is from a family where political intrigue is part of the “family business,” unspoken but always present, and she is on the radar of current political figures because of it. She doesn’t admit this to herself, but it causes conflict unconsciously that seeps into the way she views the world—both seeing and not seeing that others may be influencing her life. As a radio commentator, she works with the journalist’s view that the job of the journalist is to tell the truth to the public. On the unconscious level, she keeps secrets even from herself. She becomes increasingly depressed and isolated as events unfold that she can’t understand or stop.
Secondary conflict:
Lee’s social environment includes a best friend in her hometown, her mother, her grandmother, her colleagues (her boss and two other new hires), her daughter at Harvard, and her son on a semester abroad. There is a flashback to a holiday dinner in Lee’s childhood and then a Thanksgiving dinner in the present at her grandmother’s house in Gloucester where the the political family idea is partly resolved for the reader-- even though still behind Lee’s back. The entire book takes place between Halloween and New Year’s, the same number of weeks of the original Salem witch trials. Thanksgiving and Christmas are also scenes in the book, and these four holidays create a scaffolding for events in the secondary conflict.

The setting:Most of the book takes place in Salem, MA. Because I was a visiting lecturer for a semester at Salem State University in the early 1990’s, I enjoyed downloading a street map of my own walking routes, and using actual street names for the book. I invented some of the restaurants but they are reminiscent of real ones also. The condo development is similar to several in nearby towns. Salem has an atmosphere based on real events and there is a lively tourist trade, so the book (or film!) can interest readers in the architecture, the Witch museums, Gallows Hill, historical houses, the antique shops, and the beauty of the ocean vistas. When a document that helps explain everything is unearthed in a seldom-used library, that seems realistic in the book even though it is a fictional library. The document is real, though, one I found on the internet at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17845/17 ... 1-htm.html.
Other scenes take place in suburban Buffalo, a train, Harvard University, and MIT. Cambridge is a nice change from Salem, with its emphasis on the intellectual community, the Harvard Bookstore, and little bistros for Lee to meet up with her graduate student daughter. Lee’s new love interest, a professor at MIT, lives in an established residential areas with a comfortable den, all overlooking the graveyard where Oliver Wendell Holmes is buried, a nod to the historical account, Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II, written in 1867 and dedicated to him. The radio station where Lee works is also an interesting setting. I have worked in radio myself, and the inner workings of radio are interesting to readers who aren’t familiar with it. The petty jealousies, the not-so-petty dirty tricks, the understanding boss who is running out of patience—the station is good territory for these.


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2017, 13:12 
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Joined: 08 Dec 2017, 12:26
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I want to study about this story very much. It would be great for the guys to educate me.


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PostPosted: 22 Dec 2017, 14:35 
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Joined: 22 Dec 2017, 14:07
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Location: London
Much appreciated giving supper in the present at her grandma's home in Gloucester where the political family thought is halfway settled for the peruser - despite the fact that still in the face of Lee's good faith. The whole book happens amongst Halloween and New Year's, a similar number of long stretches of the first Salem witch trials. Much appreciated giving and Christmas are likewise scenes in the book, and these four occasions make a framework for occasions in the optional clash.

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