A Break with Charity

by Ann Rinaldi
320 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Jeanne

Good read, but questionable morals and some violence.


In Salem Town, the witch trials are beginning. Good people are being convicted as witches and sent to hang for deeds they have not committed, and for the sake of her family Susanna must keep quiet about what she knows.


Susanna lies throughout the story, but pays the price in the end. She also has trouble forgiving those responsible for the deaths of the innocent.

Spiritual Content

The story is based on a weak Christian foundation, but many 'Christian' characters are represented as being as base and worldly as the non-Christians. Witches are mentioned as servants of Satan.


Witches are mentioned as being hanged, but nothing graphic. People claiming to be afflicted by the witches sometimes inflict pain on themselves. Also, a slave is said to have been beaten by her master when he suspects her of being a witch.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Wine is mentioned, but not in regards to drunkenness.

Sexual Content

A girl is said to be her master's 'jade'. Where Susanna is concerned, there are only embraces and kisses.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Someone is mentioned as a 'block****'.


I found this book very entertaining and accurate to the time period. The story development was very gripping, and the background romance was sweet. The morality was questionable at times, however, and should be taken critically.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: 13+

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