I confess that I have lived within a half-hour drive of Salem, Massachusetts, for seven years and have never stopped to visit the place. Friends' tales of hokey haunted houses, tourist trap souvenir shops and costumed "witches" were enough for me to steer clear of town. But this summer I may finally have found a reason to visit Salem: local author Brunonia Barry's captivating portrait of this historic harbor city.
As anyone who has studied early American history knows, of course, Salem's history is a notorious one. It's no coincidence that Barry sets her modern-day tale, with its convergence of mystical practices and troubled family history, in th