Study Guide

A Break With Charity Tone

By Ann Rinaldi

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Tone

Somber, Nostalgic

Oh Susanna, you sure do have a sad story to tell. And this means that our girl often sounds pretty somber when she's telling her tale. We can't blame her, though—after all, Susanna has been through a lot and her tone reminds us that most of her story isn't about cotton candy and unicorns.

Check out Susanna's tone when she's sitting in the meetinghouse in 1706. She's waiting for Ann Putnam to come and apologize, and boy does Susanna have some serious sadness in her voice when she's remembering her mama:

Sometimes I miss her so much! I missed her so when I was married. And there are times when I ache for her as I look on my children's faces. But today, when I came into this place, it was more than aching for her or missing her. It was as if her presence was here with me, all around me. And I cried.

This was Mama's meetinghouse, the place she loved so until that fateful day when she stood by Sarah Cloyce as the others shunned Sarah and called Mama a friend of witches. She never came back here after that day. (Prologue.6-7)

Susanna sure is solemn when she thinks about her mom. She not only tells us that she misses her mama big time, but we can hear it in her voice too. She's not full of happiness to be back in her old church, and instead Susanna seems super grave.

But even though a lot of bad stuff went down in Salem back in 1692, Susanna is still nostalgic for the old days, especially for her mom. And even though she's ready to ball her eyes out, she's also surrounded by memories in the meetinghouse, and lucky for Susanna some of them are good. Her tone lets us know that she's nostalgic about the past and sad about it all at once.

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