Study Guide

A Break With Charity Writing Style

By Ann Rinaldi

Writing Style

Detailed, Candid

When it comes to telling her tale, Susanna wants to give us the details and tell it like it is—she doesn't want us guessing about anything at all, and that means serving up every little tidbit about her life in 1692. So if you're hoping to find out what Susanna and her family ate for dinner, then you're in luck because she's bound to tell you. Or if you're wondering what shade of blue the sky is on a particular day, Susanna wants to be frank about that info, too.

Take a look at how Susanna recalls saying goodbye to her family before they separate between Boston and Salem:

I do not much ponder the farewell. But it still comes to the front of my mind at night when I hear owls calling to each other in the loneliness. Or when I catch the scent of the marshes. When that happens, I can still feel Mama's or Mary's arms around me, hear Mary's sobs as we drew apart, hear Father's voice break as it did when he tried to conceal his painful feelings. (17.64)

Susanna really has a knack for details, right? She doesn't just tell us that she said ta-ta to her family—nope, she gives us the full rundown, including what she smelled that day (oh those stinky marshes). In fact, her style is so detailed and straightforward that it makes it super easy to visualize the scene she's given us, and that's pretty great.

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