From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery — Prep meets The Crucible.
It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.
First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.
Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen — who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit — comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago...
Inspired by true events — from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school — Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, what’s really happening to the girls at St. Joan’s?
Katherine Howe is completing a PhD in American and New England Studies, and is a descendant of Elizabeth Proctor, who survived the Salem witch trials, and Elizabeth Howe, who did not. The idea for The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane developed while Howe was studying for her doctoral qualifying exams and walking her dog through the woods between Marblehead and Salem. She lives in Massachusetts, with her husband.