Set in France in the sixteenth century, The Burning Time tells the story of a young girl whose mother is accused of being a witch. In her village, everyone is suspect. An accusation is enough to bring arrest, shame, even torture. Rose Rives cannot understand how the authorities—from the magistrate to the village priest—can encourage the villagers to denounce their neighbours as witches. Rose's simple life is shattered when her mother, who has been a midwife and a healer to half of the families in town, is turned over to the authorities. Struggling to free her mother, Rose finds herself pitted against some of the people she trusted the most.
The Burning Time is an unrelenting examination of the cruelty and injustice committed against women through all ages and the courage some women have found to speak out.