Mary's grandmother, the woman who raised her and taught her healing skills, has been denounced as a witch and put to death. In fear for her own life, Mary flees England to cross the ocean with a group of Puritans who are also seeking to escape persecution. The journey is long and difficult; they finally arrive to discover their companions who had gone ahead are no longer in the original settlement, but have moved deep into the forest. Mary goes along with trepidation- she has no friends in this new land, but doesn't really fit in with the Puritans either. She is constantly afraid of coming under suspicion. Her behavior doesn't fall under their strict code of living, and when she wanders into the forest to collect herbs, cautiously befriending a native american boy, the colony begins to suspect her. It's obvious they want a scapegoat to blame for their troubles, but it disgusted me how the other young women in the colony tried to manipulate the villagers' fear against her for their own gain. I found this story riveting and succinctly told; was a bit curious about the sequel but the opening passage from it included at the rear of the book dissuaded me of that- it appears to go in a different direction I'm not much interested in. I do really like the cover image of this book- it's such a simple yet compelling image.