The Emancipation of Giles Corey
Giles Corey, a victim of the conspiracy and mass hysteria that was the Salem Witch Trials, was pressed by large stones and then killed in 1692. For more than three centuries, the workings of the Family Confederacy, or the culprits behind the witch conspiracy and their descendants, have kept Giles’ spirit bound and trapped in this world. The central character of this historical fiction novel, Sophie St. Cloud, sets out to free his soul with three teammates in 2007. This task is personal for Sophie, as she is literally Giles reincarnated, and her partner Dylan is the reincarnation of Giles’s wife, Martha. Sophie uses her Shamanic knowledge and skills to communicate with spirits and interpret omens. These supernatural interactions help her to determine the steps needed to set Giles’ spirit free on the anniversary of his pressing and death.
The story of Sophie’s spiritual pilgrimage is told through descriptions of the rituals she performs, her encounters with the spirit realm, and occasional flashbacks that provide necessary information to complete the mission. Author Michael Sortomme draws on her personal expertise of Shamanic practices to create detailed descriptions of the rituals Sophie enacts. Her vivid accounts of spiritual connections put readers right in Salem’s cemeteries beside her and allow them to experience Sophie’s exhaustion after intense ordeals.
The ways in which spirits manifest themselves may seem unconventional to many, but Sortomme has anticipated this, and even built it into the novel. The tension that arises when members of Sophie’s team express doubts about the mission will be something readers can relate to, since it can apply to any group task. One does not have to be familiar with the beliefs of the novel’s main characters to appreciate Sortomme’s imaginative new approach to the familiar tale of the Salem Witch Trials.
Emancipation won the Indie Excellence for Best Historical Fiction of 2011, Honorable Mention for the Hoffer and 20 top finalists for the Montaigne Metal.
|Page Count||348 pages|
|Publisher||Singing Lake Press|
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