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Crane Pond: A Novel of Salem

Crane Pond: A Novel of Salem


Book Overview: Crane Pond: A Novel of Salem

This novel of the Salem Witch Trials from the point of view of a judge is "leavened with wit [and] finely crafted" (Kirkus Reviews).

In a colony struggling for survival, in a mysterious new world where infant mortality is high and sin is to blame, Samuel Sewall is committed to being a loving family man, a good citizen, and a fair-minded judge. Like any believing Puritan, he agonizes over what others think of him, while striving to act morally correct, keep the peace, and, when possible, enjoy a hefty slice of pie. His one regret is that months earlier, he didn't sentence a group of pirates to death.

What begins as a touching story of a bumbling man tasked with making judgments in a society where reason is often ephemeral quickly becomes the chilling narrative we know too well. And when public opinion wavers, Sewall learns that what has been done cannot be undone.

Crane Pond explores the inner life of a well-meaning man who compromised with evil and went on to regret it. At once a searing view of the Trials, an empathetic portrait of one of the period's most tragic figures, and an indictment of the malevolent power of idealism, it is a thrilling new telling of one of America's founding stories.

"[ Crane Pond] goes straight on to my (small) list of historical novels that draw out the capacities of the form and allow readers to brush against the pleasures and terrors of the past."--Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall

"Deftly crafted . . . perfectly balances issues of religion, faith, and law."-- Library Journal

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Richard Francis is a highly acclaimed author, renowned for his engaging and thought-provoking novels. Originally hailing from the United States, Francis began his writing career after a rich academic journey in literature and creative writing. His education, along with his diverse life experiences, has played a pivotal role in shaping his unique writing style that skillfully blends intricate storytelling with complex, realistic characters. Francis's literary portfolio is highly diverse, encompassing genres such as historical fiction, mystery, and contemporary literature. His works seamlessly integrate profound thematic elements, such as the human psyche, societal issues, and intricate relationships, leading readers on a journey of introspection. His well-received novels such as "Exile Kingdom" and "The Black Rose of Winter" have solidified his standing in the literary community, with numerous accolades echoing praises for his captivating prose and deft narrative abilities. Aside from his successful writing career, Richard Francis is a fervent advocate for the promotion of literature and the arts. He regularly participates in and organizes a number of literary events and workshops, aiming to foster a deep appreciation for literature within the community. His passionate commitment towards his craft, along with his continuous contribution to the literary world, places him amongst the prominent writers of our era.


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