The story of The Minister's Daughter is not what you may think. Grace, the beautiful daughter, plays a major part in the story but the main character is Nell, granddaughter of the local cunning woman, a healer and midwife who is passing on her lore to Nell. It is the time of civil war in England between the Royalists and the Puritans. Grace's father, the minister, is one of many rabid witch hunters. When Grace becomes pregnant, she blames Nell who she says practiced witchcraft on her. Caught up in the hysterical frenzy, the townspeople hunt down Nell. Patience, Grace's sister, tells the same story in alternating chapters from the stand of the Salem Witch trials in 1645.