Conversion by Katherine Howe is a return to the style she used in The Physik Book of Deliverance Dane, a novel which I love. Conversion is a young adult novel which blends a retelling of The Crucible, the real history of the Salem Witch Panic, and a touch of high school drama. The Story is told through Ann Putnam, one of the accusers during the Panic, and Colleen Rowley, A modern teenager in her senior Year of high School in Danvers. The voices alternate between the Colleen and the trials of a girl trying to get into the college of her Choice, with interjections from the past with Ann making her confession about her role during the trials. The way this is done the reader can see the ultimate connections Howe is heading towards, without prior Knowledge of the Crucible or more than a passing knowledge of the history of the Salem Witch Trials.
There is enough of the teenage drama to make the comparison to the historical period, but not too much that people who easily tire of the drama will be turned off by it. The book is well written and was more enjoyable for me than Howe’s last book, which was a straight historical fiction, and not the dual time line I enjoyed so much. I would definitely recommend this book, especially to someone who wants something related to witch trials, and not heavy in the fantasy aspect.