If you have ever seen the witchy movie I've Been Waiting for You then you will be intrigued to learn that it is loosely based on this teen novel Gallows Hill by Lois Duncan (who is also the author of I Know What You Did Last Summer). I like the film and so I tracked down the book Gallows Hill on Amazon UK. In truth the movie bears little resemblance to the actual text of the novel, but this didn't spoil my enjoyment of either - I like both versions. I read Gallows Hill over the weekend and it was just the kind of witchy read I enjoy. It is only a short novel so its easy to get through it in a couple of days.
The book follows the fortunes of young Sarah Zoltanne who has recently moved to a small town called Pine Crest. She isn't happy about the move, the town or her new family circumstances, but in order to try and fit in she agrees to read fortunes at a Halloween party using her grandmother's paper weight as a crystal ball.
The problems begin when Sarah discovers she has a real knack for scrying; she begins to see genuine visions of the future in the crystal, leading her fellow students to suspect her of being a witch. Witchcraft doesn't go down well in Christian Pine Crest and soon Sarah is beset by mysterious threats, while someone follows her every move and stakes out her house after dark.
Charlie, an outcast himself, is the only person who has any time for Sarah and the two become friends. But it soon becomes clear that they are bound by more than friendship. As Sarah's visions and dreams intensify Charlie has a theory of his own - that Sarah and other members of the Pine Crest community are reincarnated souls from the Salem Witch Trials forced to relive their ordeal or find retribution in this lifetime.
But who was Sarah in her previous incarnation and can she right the wrongs before her terrible fate is repeated?
You'll have to read the book to find out! It's a fun read if you like witchy tales; the scrying scenes are accurately portrayed and the original members of the Salem community who were wrongfully condemned and executed on charges of witchcraft during the infamous Witch Hunts are all named and treated respectfully. There is even information on what happened to survivors after the hysteria in Salem was over, which makes very interesting reading.
All in all, I enjoyed this novel and I shall certainly be on hunt for more books by this author. If you have read any of her other books, let me know which ones you recommend.