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Wyndspelle by Aola Vandergriff (1975)
I came across Wyndspelle at the local Goodwill. I read it and then donated it back to my local library.

This book is the first of a trilogy. The other two are The Bell Tower of Wyndspelle and Wyndspelle's Child. I think I'll stop with the first one.

The story is a classic Gothic formula. A young woman during Puritan times is accused of witchcraft and flees to Wyndspelle, the mysterious and haunted manor. The manor's mistress has died and the master, a scarred older man, tricks the spunky heroine into becoming his wife. She has few allies, because everyone thinks she's either a witch or a harlot, and she is torn between the scary master and the handsome assistant.

The romance was standard and workman-like. This is what I liked about the book.

1. The black cat. I just like black cats.
2. The setting. The author did a great job describing the creepy old house built over the sea. I would love to live there.
3. The "ghost" story, such as there was. A "witch" was burned at Wyndspelle and her ghost supposedly haunts the place. Love that kind of stuff.

A good companion nonfiction book for those of you interested in witchcraft during Puritan times is Delusions of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials by Frances Hill. It's great.

Basically, you might like Wyndspelle and rest of the trilogy if you want a safe, comfortable, predictable Gothic romance. I give it a C. Commendable, but unremarkable.

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