In 1687, 16-year old Katherine Tyler, (known throughout the story as Kit) leaves her home in Barbados after her grandfather’s death and goes to New England to live with her aunt and uncle in Wethersfield, a small Puritan community in Connecticut Colony.
On the way to her new home, there is a brief stop in Saybrook, a small town just down river from Wethersfield, and four new passengers board the Dolphin, the ship on which Kit is travelling. As the small rowboat returns to the ship, a small girl named Prudence accidentally drops her doll in the water and begs her mother to get it back for her. Her mother, Goodwife Cruff, harshly strikes Prudence and tells her not to be foolish. Impulsively, Kit jumps into the water and retrieves the doll. When she returns to the rowboat, she is met with astonished suspicion as few people in Connecticut could swim so well. Goodwife Cruff is the most cynical of them all, believing Kit is a witch, saying, “No respectable woman could stay afloat like that.”
When she arrives in Wethersfield, Kit finds Connecticut very different from Barbados. In her previous home, she had servants but here is expected to work along with the rest of the family. There is none of the luxury to which she was accustomed, and even the weather is miserably cold. She has two cousins, Mercy and Judith. She is required to attend meeting (church) services twice each Sunday, which she finds long and dull. At church, Kit meets the rich, 19-year old William Ashby, who begins courting her, though she does not care for him; originally, her cousin Judith had hoped to marry William, but soon sets her sights on John Holbrook, a divinity student studying with local minister Gershom Bulkeley.
Homer Hickam, Jr. had a dream too big for his small coalmining town of West Virginia, however, with the collective will of he and close friends, he fulfilled his dream. Coalwood is located in the southern most tip of West Virginia in McDowell County. It was a coalmining town founded by George Lafayette Carter in the early 1900s. Carter built the model town of his time, if a man was willing to come ...
Kit’s life improves when she and Mercy begin teaching the ‘dame school’ for young children. Everything goes well until one day, bored with the normal lessons, Kit decides the children will act out a part from the Bible. Mr. Eleazer Kimberly, the head of the school, enters the house just as things get out of hand. He is outraged at Kit for having the audacity to act out something from the Bible and shuts down the school. Heartbroken, Kit flees to the meadows. When she is there, she meets and befriends the kind, elderly woman named Hannah Tupper, who was outlawed from the Massachusetts colony because she is a Quaker. As outcasts, Kit and Hannah develop a deep relationship, and even after her uncle forbids Kit to continue the friendship, Kit keeps visiting Hannah. During one of her visits, she once again meets the handsome Nathaniel “Nat” Eaton, son of the captain of the Dolphin. Without realizing it, she falls in love with him, and though he doesn’t say so, Nat loves her as well. Kit also begins secretly teaching Prudence to read and write; Goodwife Cruff claims the child is a halfwit and refuses to allow her to attend the dame school.
When a deadly illness sweeps through Wethersfield, a mob gathers to kill Hannah by burning her house, since everyone believes she is a witch who has cursed the town. Kit risks her life to warn Hannah, and the two women escape to the river just as the Dolphin appears from the early morning mist. Kit flags it down, and she explains to Nat the events of the night. He takes Hannah aboard the ship, and then invites Kit to come with them. She refuses, explaining how Mercy is gravely ill, though Nat believes Kit fears risking her engagement to William Ashby.
After the Dolphin sails away, Kit returns home to find that Mercy’s fever has broken. She also discovers that the confusion between who John Holbrook was courting was all figured out. John had secretly loved Mercy, and Mercy felt the same towards John. In the middle of the same night, the townspeople come for Kit — Adam Cruff, Goodwife Cruff’s husband, had accused Kit of being a witch. The next day, after a night in a freezing shed, she is asked to explain the presence of her hornbook in Hannah’s house and a copybook with Prudence’s name written throughout, as the townspeople fear that she and Hannah had been casting a spell over the girl. Kit refuses to explain that it is Prudence herself who wrote her name in the book, as she does not wish Prudence to get in trouble with her parents. Then, just as the case seemed to be decided, Nat appears with Prudence who testifies that she herself wrote her own name in the hornbook, not Kit. To demonstrate her literacy, Prudence reads a Bible passage, thus convincing her father both that she is intelligent and that no witchcraft could be involved, as he points out the devil would be foolish to allow a child to be taught to use the Bible against him.
In The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Spe are writes about how Kit changes throughout the course of the story. From the start of the story, Kit is materialistic, shallow, and prideful. In the middle, Kit shows signs of change by taking care of others. Last but not least, in the end she loves the people she is friends with and doesn't care only about herself but for others as well. In ...
Judith and Mercy end up engaged to Willam Ashby and John Holbrook respectively, and Kit decides to return to Barbados. However, her plans change when Nat appears back in Wethersfield with his own ship, the Witch, named after her. At the port, they greet each other happily. Nat and Kit explain their love for one another and Nat goes to talk to Kit’s uncle, Matthew, about marrying her.