How to Hang a Witch is a fantasy book that is also connected to the real life history of the Salem witch trials. The main character, Samantha Mather, or Sam as she likes to be called, moves to Salem with her stepmother Vivian. Her father is in the hospital, in a coma, but no one knows what caused him to be in a coma.
Sam is descended from Cotton Mather who started the Salem witch trials, and is surprised when she meets “The Descendants” who are also connected to the trials, since their ancestors were of the accused witches. The Descendants are named Alice, Mary, and Susannah and they don’t like her at all, they even glare at her when they are in class.
In the book, Samantha deals with a curse that has killed members of both the witches families and her own family. In order to stop, and break the curse, she needs to figure out how it all started.
When she is looking around, she meets a classically handsome looking boy who turns out to be the ghost of a boy who recently inhabited the house. Sam finds out that the ghost’s name is Elijah, and that he has a big connection to the curse that afflicts her and The Descendants.
The troubles start when it’s Sam’s first week in school, and she decides to offer pastries to her classmates to try and make new friends, just like her stepmother wanted. The class ends up getting sick and they blame her and her pastries, causing both the class and The Descendants to dislike her. This then leads the others to put Sam on the lists of suspects for all of the deaths going on. Sam later learns secrets about her past and even about close friends and family of hers that relate to her fate and the fate of her father’s coma.
The author, Adriana Mather, is a real descendant of Cotton Mather who, like in the book, started the witch trials. She also descends from people who boarded and survived the Titanic. Adriana Mather usually uses her familie’s history in her writing; letting other people see through the eyes of her family to get a glimpse of their lives. Adriana Mather also has a second book, much like How To Hang A Witch. This second book of hers, has the same characters but has the plot of Sam being connected to the Titanic.