Is witchcraft or revenge to blame when men from a remote Hungarian village start dropping dead?
Teenage Sari's smart, inquisitive nature would be enough to make her an outcast in her remote Hungarian village; add to that her knowledge of healing herbs, and she's widely considered a witch.
When the men leave to fight World War I, however, everything changes. Without their oppressive and often abusive husbands and boyfriends, the women at last taste freedom and independence, and Sari makes friends. She and a number of other women in the village even begin relationships with injured Italian POWs housed nearby. Swept up in an intellectual and passionate love affair with a university professor, Sari's mind and body awaken for the first time in her life.
With the war's end, the men of the village return. Sari's freedom--and her newfound friendships--are imperiled. But just as Sari knows the herbs that will heal, she knows as well those that will kill. It takes several weeks for the arsenic, sprinkled her fiancĂ©'s food, to finish him off. The first poisoning leads to another, and then another. Based on a true story, this novel shows how a good person can be led to evil, and how a community can come together to conceal unspeakable crimes.
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