"England, 1643. Puritanical fervour has gripped the nation. And in Manningtree, a town depleted of men since the wars began, the hot terror of damnation burns black in the hearts of women who have finally been left to their own devices. Rebecca West, fatherless and husbandless, chafes against the drudgery of her days, livened only occasionally by her infatuation with the clerk John Edes. But then a newcomer, Matthew Hopkins, arrives. A mysterious, pious figure dressed from head to toe in black, he takes over the Thorn Inn and begins to ask questions about what the women on the margins of this diminished community are up to. Dangerous rumors of covens, pacts, and bodily wants have begun to hang over women like Rebecca-and the future is as frightening as it is thrilling. With brilliant energy and ambition, The Manningtree Witches plunges its readers into the fever and menace of the English witch trials, where suspicion, mistrust and betrayal run amok as a nation's patriarchal institutions start to realize that the very people they've suppressed may be about to rise up and claim their freedom"-- Provided by publisher.