Jennet Stearne is the daughter of the Witchfinder General. Her story begins in 1680s England. When Jennet’s educated Aunt Isobel is tried and executed for witchcraft, the young girl makes it her life’s mission to take down the Parliamentary Witchcraft Act. She seeks to use science to prove that witches could not possibly exist, therefore making the law unnecessary.
What follows is a 40-odd year quest. Along the way, we meet the villagers of Salem, Algonquin warriors, Sir Isaac Newton, and most memorably, a young Ben Franklin.
I expected this book to be much more somber than it was. I also did not expect it to be funny, which it was in some places. Morrow takes quite a few liberties with history (something that usually bothers me), but the ride is so much fun it didn’t matter. I think “rollicking” is really the only way to describe it. The Last Witchfinder is pretty long – over 500 pages – but very, very fun.