Study Guide

A Break With Charity Plot Analysis

By Ann Rinaldi

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Plot Analysis


Cliquey Girls Have All the Fun

Susanna is feeling really left out when the girls in Salem hang out without her. Oh, and they're hanging out in the reverend's house cooking up some magic with Tituba. There are already lots of secrets afoot, plus some spooky prophecies about impending doom. All of this sets us up for some major action coming up soon.

Rising Action

Lies Are a Powerless Girl's Best Friend

The clique at the parsonage grows and Ann Putnam becomes the leader. These gals start accusing townsfolk of being witches, which is totally ridiculous, and when Susanna finds out that these gals are lying just for fun she tries to get them to tell the truth. Throw in a little blackmail when Ann threatens Susanna's family and things are only getting worse and worse around Salem.


The Truth Shall Set the Witches Free

We've got two big turning points in this book. The first one is when the so-called witches start to be hanged—this is a super sad turning point that doesn't bode well for the rest of Salem. Susanna also has a personal turning point of her own when she finally decides to come clean about Ann's lies. The bad news is that lots of folks die during this climax, but there's good news too: Susanna's turning point helps make Salem a better place in the long run.

Falling Action

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Finally the witches are being released and the town is getting back in order. Well, there is quite a bit of hunger because folks neglected crops. And you can bet that it's not super easy for people to move on from the huge hullaballoo that Ann stirred up. But things are slowly returning back to normal, and that lets us know that the story is winding down.


Questions and Answers

At the end of the book, Susanna looks back at the Salem witch trials. And gosh are those memories hard to forget. On the one hand, there's oodles of resolution in this book—after all, Susanna's family is back in Salem and even big bro William is home. But Susanna is also left with a bunch of questions, like whether she can ever move on from the past and if Salem can stay safe from witchcraft forever more.

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