Friday, October 23, 2009

THE AFFLICTED GIRLS A Novel of Salem by Suzy Witten

For all readers interested in Historical Fiction, the Salem Witch-Hunts, American Colonial History, THE AFFLICTED GIRLS A Novel of Salem by Suzy Witten, solves the 300 year old mystery. Something terrible happened in Salem in 1692 . . . but it isn't what you think.

Available for purchase now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online, from Powells Books and Lulu for the eBook version, and through the Ingram Catalogue at bookstores everywhere.

The author was a Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Finalist for this story.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: THE AFFLICTED GIRLS A Novel of Salem by author-researcher Suzy Witten presents a startling new theory of the Salem Village witch-hunts, which is certain to put this 300-year-old unsettled mystery to rest . . . by expertly guiding readers through The Historical Record to revelation. Part parable, part star-crossed romance, and part supernatural venture, this is an intuitive human history—and inhuman—spun with a modern twist. A Controversial debut by a new Historical storyteller . . . a Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Finalist. ISBN: 978-0-615-32313-8

Historical Fiction, 456 pages, A Paperback Original from Dreamwand

(also available as an eBook) (for ages 16 and older)


  1. I would love to read this book. Is it available in Canada?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hi Mariag,
    Thanks for the post. In about a month (mid-December) it will be available on and also in Canada. If you order an author signed copy from the website:, I'll be happy to mail the book to you in Canada. I'm supposed to receive my lot of books in about 2 more weeks.


    Dearest Friends,

    My book about Salem, THE AFFLICTED GIRLS A Novel of Salem, is finally published. Today's the BIG DAY!

    It can be purchased now on or, or from as an eBook, or from my website: for author-signed copies

    (Note: there is another book with the same title, so just be sure you're getting the 456 page novel by me, and not the book of poems by someone else)

    ISBN: 978-0-615-32313-8

    Something terrible happened in Salem in 1692 . . . but it isn't what you think!

    THE AFFLICTED GIRLS A Novel of Salem by author-researcher Suzy Witten presents a startling new theory of the Salem Village witch-hunts, which is certain to put this 300-year-old unsettled mystery to rest . . . by expertly guiding readers through The Historical Record to revelation. Part parable, part star-crossed romance, and part supernatural venture, this is an intuitive human history—and inhuman—spun with a modern twist. A controversial debut by a new Historical storyteller . . . A Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Finalist. Historical Fiction, 456 pages, A Paperback Original from Dreamwand (also available as an eBook)

    The mystery is solved!

  6. THE AFFLICTED GIRLS is now available free of charge to vision-impaired readers via Bookshare. (Contact Bookshare for information)

  7. THE AFFLICTED GIRLS is receiving excellent reviews on Amazon from their top reviewers:

  8. 5.0 out of 5 stars *A believable retelling of an old story - with a new twist*, December 26, 2009
    By Bobbie - "Andromeda's Gramma" (United States) - See all my reviews

    My first introduction to the Salem Witch Trials was in High School when we read Arthur Miller's The Crucible (Penguin Classics). Even at that time I wondered, what could have made people act in that fashion.

    We discussed many theories (including ergot) that could have caused the hysteria and consequent behavior.

    In reading through "The Afflicted Girls," I found myself looking at this time in our history in a whole new light. Suzy Witten has done incredible research - not only into the trials but also into the history of that era. As I read the story, I found myself seeing each of the characters in a new light and believing the possibility that Witten proposes through the story.

    While the book is historical fiction - based on an actual event - it is also a wonderful story in its own right. From the first page to the last, the story pulls you in, demanding your attention and belief in the characters.

    The presentation of facts (and conjecture) in the novel left me with enough questions that I couldn't resist revisiting some of the internet-based information and ended up agreeing that Witten's conclusions concerning the source are well-conceived. Both social and physical events contributed to the hysteria that would blight Salem for more than 300 years.

    I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys colonial history and novels. You will not be disappointed.

  9. 4.0 out of 5 stars *A new author fortunate to have such a compelling story of which to write.*, December 27, 2009
    By Mahlers2nd "Mommy of Many Interests"

    I've always been fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials so when I was offered the opportunity to read this book, I thought it would be a great read. I must confess that Suzy Witten -- the author provided me with a copy of the book to review which is how I obtained the book.

    This appears to be Ms Witten's first novel but she has picked a fascinating subject for it. For the most part, the prose and the writing and dialogue are very well done and not plagued with overly-pretentious wordiness that some authors feel the need to engage in. The language and the voice of the story is readable but sometimes the mixture of more modern colloquialisms combined with the puritanical period were a bit jarring and made it difficult to follow the continuity of the story.

    The set up to the "famous events" surrounding the Salem Trials is very extensive in this book -- some might say a bit plodding. At points, I found myself thinking 'get on with it already'. However, overall, the author is excruciatingly thorough in her character development and setting the place and tone. Plus, in order to set up for the main events, I think most of that development is necessary and I would be hard-pressed to give advice as to what to eliminate.

    The overwhelming thought was that it was a miracle that our country survived its early days given all the requirements for physical survival combined with the constant political and mind-games that the villagers employed with each other.

    There are definitely surprises in the book that will keep you wanting to read more. It isn't just a story of "mean girls gone awry" as Miller and the Crucible would have you believe. As with all good historical fiction -- and this qualifies! -- you are left wanting to learn more about what which parts were historical versus fiction... you wind up learning more about the subject. This is what Ms. Witten has accomplished and therefore, deserves a great deal of praise for bringing her readers to that point!

    Overall, I really enjoyed the story despite the flow and organization being a bit distracting. The author does a great job building suspense and developing the "backstory" (how I despise that word) for how the Salem Witch debacle comes together. There is so much more insight into the period of events than you would get from your regulation Arthur Miller "The Crucible". You definitely come away after reading the book feeling like you were much more part of the action rather than just an observer. And you also wind up feeling like you understand what took place much much better.

    This is a solid first effort from Ms. Witten and would highly recommend to anyone who has an interest in early American Historical Fiction or the Salem Witch Trials.


    Nan Hawthorne, Shield-wall Books said...
    I want to start the ball rolling by saying that esily the best new book I read in 2009 was Suzy Witten's "The Afflicted Girls". It is destined to go down in literary history as the best novel about the Salem Witch Trials. Wiien captures not only the psychology of the place and time but the very sound of it. I know it is available at and no doubt by special order everywhere.
    January 4, 2010 8:24 PM

  11. THE AFFLICTED GIRLS featured in "The Indie Spotlight"


    THE AFFLICTED GIRLS is a FINALIST for the 2010 IPPY for HISTORICAL FICTION (Independent Publisher Book Award).


  14. THE AFFLICTED GIRLS for Kindle & Nook is now on sale for the holiday month of December 2010 ... $6.99 Amazon US Amazon UK B&N

    "Something terrible happened in Salem Village in 1692 ... but it isn't what you think!"

  15. Suzy Witten will be moderating a Speakers Panel at the 2011 HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY CONFERENCE, in San Diego, CA, June 17-19, 2011:

    Conquering the Wide World Web"

    (Everything you need to know about the new publishing paradigm)

    Registration is now open at:


    The Afflicted Girls

    Written by Suzy Witten

    Published by Dreamwand

    456 pages

    Review by Paula Day

    There is that stand by concern about how historically accurate one must be when writing historical fiction. Some will argue that writers of historical fiction should be 100% accurate, as if novelists were stand-ins for historians. After all, they say, if one is writing with historical information, then one should share that information accurately. Others will argue that perhaps the facts can be tampered with. Novelists are storytellers, and as storytellers they may change what they must in order to tell their story their way. So is the story driven by history, or is the history driven by story? In the case of The Afflicted Girls: A Novel of Salem by Suzy Witten, she seems to have chosen the second option. She has used the facts about the Salem Witch Trials to tell the story she wanted to tell.

    Those of us with a basic understanding of the Salem Witch Trials (or who at least have some memory of The Crucible) will recognize the usual cast of characters in this book. Witten, similar to Arthur Miller, has chosen a sexually charged theme to the story, perhaps as a contrast to the uptight standards held by the Puritans of the time. There is also a supernatural element to the story, which gives an interesting twist to the events. Witten has an elegant style to her writing, and she does a good job capturing the tone of the seventeenth century language. While she takes some liberties with the facts of the witch hunts as we know them, overall the story is engaging enough for us to allow her a few free passes with the historical content. The Salem Witch Hunts are a prime time for the creatively minded storyteller to spin a yarn around since, for all the facts that we do know about that dreadful time, there is still much that is a mystery. Why did the girls act the way they did? What brought about the horrible accusations? If you read The Afflicted Girls, you will discover Witten’s unique theory. This is an entertaining book about a fascinating and little understood time in American history. While it may not be entirely strong on the history, it is a good story, which is why we read novels. ______________________________________________________________

    Paula Day is the review editor for The Copperfield Review. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

    February 7, 2011

    Coffee with an Author - Suzy Witten 2/7/2011 - I just finished | Internet Radio | Blog Talk Radio

    Coffee with an Author host Naomi Giroux interviews authors about their style where ideas come from and new projects. Call in join the chat room to ask questions.

    More information at Feb 07 2011

  18. Coffee with an Author - Suzy Witten

    Monday, February 7, 2011
    11:00 a.m. Eastern 10:00 a.m. Central 8:00 a.m. Pacific

  19. New Review (2/11/11) "Layers of Thought" (Speculative Fiction Blog)
    Review by Shellie:
    The Afflicted Girls: A Novel of Salem ~ by Suzy Witten (reviewed by Shellie)

    When two young friends, both orphans, arrive in Salem MA in 1692, the litigious and imbalanced nature of a community sets in motion a horrific series of events. The author uses a unique perspective around why she thinks this may have occurred.

    About: This is set around actual events where the warped moral boundaries and a desire for revenge inflame the emotions of a local pastor and a selfish young woman. Situations are manipulated for personal gain, culminating in the hanging deaths of a number of its core community members - for witchcraft. Bloody scary!

    It’s a historical novel about this infamous North American witch hunt, with a slightly different take on the original. The author’s slant is very plausible and extremely intriguing. While not giving this key piece away, let’s say that through some research and a bit of insightful luck or brilliance, Suzy Witten has added a theory around this 200 year old story which has created a page turning twist of a tale - a very good one at that.

    Thoughts: One of my favorite genres is horror, so I devoured this story. At the same time, because it is based on a true story it is all the more terrifying, especially since it is entirely possible that something of this nature could happen again. As well as its plausible and intriguing twist, it has complex and well developed characters - many are easy to relate to and likable while others are naturally despicable. With its insight, it feels like a study in human nature with extreme examples of human failings. I was left on the “edge of my seat” (or the bed since I usually read at night). At one point I had to set the book aside with the downward spiraling events.

    Another element which I liked is that there is “lustiness” as a large thread throughout the story, giving it darkness and juiciness which in my opinion did not become unrealistic and standardized (one of my peeves). So if you’re looking for a “clean” read this is not a good book for you. Witten also uses language that is accessible yet with a slightly “old English style” so that you feel like it is set within the period which it occurred. These elements give depth to the story and make it perfect for a historical fiction novel.

    This is an impressive independently published debut novel, even though the author has extensive writing experience - she is a Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Finalist, which you can definitely tell by reading this book. The Afflicted Girls is also the winner of The 2010 IPPY Silver Medal for Historical Fiction (Independent Publisher Book Awards). I would say that this book deserves 4.5 stars. I will be waiting for Suzy Witten’s next book since I think she is a talented writer and am curious why this book has not been snapped up by a bigger publisher. Highly recommended!

  20. Read Suzy Witten's "Guest Author" essay on Historical Novelist Mitchell James Kaplan's ("By Fire, By Water") website (essay posted 3/18/11):

  21. THE AFFLICTED GIRLS A Novel of Salem by Suzy Witten is currently #13 on Amazon's List of Colonial History books
    (Even though it's a historical novel, not a non-fiction history)

    Kindle Book and Paperback are also now available on (Germany)

  22. Suzy Witten is interviewed about her writing process on KINDLE BOOKS blog: