Katherine Tyler (who prefers to be called Kit) finds herself in Connecticut seeking her aunt. Raised in Barbados where she lived a pampered life with her gentle grandfather, she finds life with the strict, religious Puritans quite different. Her beautiful clothes are only the first difference. When she plunges into the water to rescue a child's doll, she finds herself viewed with suspicion and wary looks. Later she learns that women do not swim. This is a test to determine a witch since innocent women sink.
Learning how to work as the Puritans do, she finds herself yearning for the sunny shores of Barbados. Her hands are blistered, there is no time to run free, no books to read other than the Bible and plays are forbidden. When she makes friends with a widowed woman who lives by Blackbird Lake labeled a witch, she finds herself accused as a witch by association and put on trial. When a frenzied mob searches for the widow, Kit helps her escape.
How Kit wishes she had never come to this frigid land where people are as frigid as the land. Can she survive? The author portrays the fears of the accused and the accusers alike for readers of this YA historical fiction story.