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?
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"Starred Review. A chilling guessing game of a novel that will leave readers thinking about the power (and powerlessness) of young women in the past and present alike." - Publishers Weekly
"A simmering blend of relatable high-school drama with a persistent pinprick of unearthliness in the background. Grades 8 and up." - Booklist
"After a deliberate buildup of escalating tension and suspense in the contemporary narrative, Howe hastily wraps up the story based on actual events that took place in La Roy, New York, in 2012 with a series of unsatisfactory solutions that are dropped on the reader with little or no ceremony.Slow boil, flat finish." - Kirkus
"How is it possible for a novel to be funny, suspenseful, tender, wickedly satiric, and terrifying all at once? When it's written by the bewitchingly talented Katherine Howe." - Julia Glass, National Book Awardwinning author of And the Dark Sacred Night and Three Junes
"Smart, compelling, exciting, and completely absorbing. Katherine Howe is stunningly deft at blurring the lines between the emotional and the supernatural. I recommend clearing your calendar before you start reading this novel." - David Liss, bestselling author of The Twelfth Enchantment
"It's the perfect storm of suspense, history, romance, and teen angst. A five-star read!" - Nancy Ohlin, author of Beauty and Always, Forever
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Katherine Howe is the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, The House of Velvet and Glass, and Conversion. She has hosted "Salem: Unmasking the Devil" for the National Geographic Channel, and her fiction has been translated into over twenty-five languages. A native Texan, she lives in New England and upstate New York, where she teaches at Cornell and is at work on her next novel.
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