|Wither (2000) [Novel]|
by John Passarella
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Series: Wendy Ward Novels
Fairy tales can come true. It can happen to you. If you don't watch out.
In a current-day New England college town, a Salem-era witches' coven is resurrected, and a harrowing history repeats itself -- with a vengeance.
Windale, Massachusetts, is a proud old town that embraces its colonial heritage -- including the legend of a dark witches' coven dating back three hundred years. Now a cause for tongue-in-cheek Halloween revelry, no one in Windale actually believes in witches. But three people, unknown to one another, are experiencing vivid nightmares of palpable horror. The dreams are their only connection to a terrifying truth: a dreadful presence is working its way into their waking lives -- and is coming for them.
Wendy Ward, a student at Windale's Danfield College, is known around campus as the college president's daughter -- and an offbeat dabbler in the occult. While her Freshman Lit classmates study Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables, Wendy tries her hand at real witchcraft: concocting well-intentioned charms and conjuring the art of white magic. But nothing can protect her from true evil....
Karen Glazer, a Danfield College professor, is eagerly anticipating the birth of her daughter. But she can't suppress her growing dread that the baby is not safe.
Something, someone, wants to take the life from within her, wants to claim her unborn child....
Abby MacNeil, a lonely eight-year-old, stumbles upon three ancient gravemarkers in the woods, earthly evidence that Windale's witches, a trio of blood sisters executed by hanging, were once very real. Standing among the time-worn stones, Abby is overtaken by a curious calm -- and a sense that she has finally found a home....
On a crisp autumn night, Wendy ventures into the woods to perform a harmless channeling ritual -- but unwittingly opens the floodgates to terrifying forces that have, until then, lived only in their dreams. The coven that arises is horrifying beyond imagination: a breed of demonic creature with the power to shatter an unsuspecting town.