The evil in this book does not stem from Satan... Rather it comes from deep inside the human psyche from jealousy, bitterness, and resentment.
A passage in here sums it up really well. (I have an ARC so things may be different in the actual publication.)
"For his unknowable ends God had made men and women capable of causing terrible harm to one another, of not only, in the words of the psalm, breathing out cruelty, but of acting out cruelty. Those who thought themselves righteous, it seemed, often inflicted most suffering."
This is a novel of the Salem witch trials. In this retelling of the tale, it all begins with one mistreated girl who has some kind of seizure.... and leads to another girl having a convulsion. Heaven forbid that other chick get all the attention, right? And before you know it, an entire gaggle of girls are having convulsions and pointing their fingers at various citizens of Salem. Nevermind that all these citizens have at some time or another crossed one of the accusers father. If four girls claim you are a witch and that they can see your specter and that just the sight of you can give them convulsions... well, you must be a witch. And if you are deaf and cannot hear the accusations properly? Well, you must be a witch, especially if you leave carpets outside all day and they get rained on... (Seriously, you have to read it to understand that.)
The back of my ARC says, "old scores would be settled." What a way of going about it.
In the thick of it all, unknowingly at first, is George Burrough (accused) and his wife, Mary. While these rigged trials continue (the touch test.. my gawd!!), George sits shackled in jail while Mary tries to prove his innocence. But how to prove his innocence in a town of mass hysteria? The town goes mad and soon too many are faced with a difficult choice: be the accused and possibly hung or be an accuser.
Which choice would you make?
As with most Salem witch books, Deliverance is spooky and dark and makes the reader ponder just how much humans can hate and how far their vindictiveness will go.
The trials got a bit repetitive with the girls writhing, throwing themselves on the floor, screaming, and awaiting Putnam's further command. I think those particular scenes should have been changed up a bit.
Four stars. I received this ARC from the publisher.