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It is so rare to read a fully original work of fiction that is fun and multi-layered. While others are comparing Schickel's work to Alice Hoffman and Updike's Witches of Eastwick, I feel like this book fits in with Ann Tyler's Accidental Tourist and Rick Moody's Ice Storm. The author captures the odd world that has become Consumerica -- in this case the fictional Monrovia, Mass. This thoroughly enjoyable fast paced novel allows for that occasional moment when you are so deep into the characters and the scene that you have to take a moment to stop in your reading -- then you realize, like under a witches spell, you just stumbled on a deeper metaphor and meaning. You quickly fall for Allison Darling, as she feels ensnared in the trappings of creating the perfect hors d'ouvres and trying to connect with her pagan spirit heritage. The narrative steams forward and you root for Allison to use that witchcraft for all its worth to upend the suburban inanity. It would be nice to see this ambitious first novel find its way into many hands.
I loved this book! It was fun, interesting, and unexpected. Allesone comes from a long line of witches, but after growing up in foster homes, she has long since forgotten the lessons she learned until an enchantment that had kept her and her family safe for 31 years wears off, and not only releases her magic that has laid dormant, but also stops protecting her family from the Dark Witch. I loved the story, the characters and the way that they were far from perfect, and of course I loved the magic. Who doesn't love magic? It is a fun and exciting read, and definitely one of my favorites. I can't wait until someone else I know reads it too, so I can have someone to discuss it with. I will definitely read the sequel, and it is perfectly set up for a sequel, so the only remaining question is...how long will I have to wait?
For those of us with a weakness for books about families of witches, especially sisters who are witches, this book hits a sweet spot. It straddles the line between creative and almost predictable, all the while keeping the story moving along at a fast pace. The author has fun with the story, and so does the reader. If some of the scenes are a bit over the top, they only add to the overall enjoyment of the novel. And this is a good, fun book; hard to stop once begun and disappointing when it ends. I began the book as an excerpt provided through NetGalley and then finished it as a book I purchased. Yes, I was hooked! You will be, too.
I don't give anything 5 stars unless it's a masterpiece with some kind of lesson behind it that could change my life. I love this book in so many ways. I love the magical realism and the setting, basically Salem, Massachusetts. It had moments of humor that actually made me laugh. Those things made for reading pleasure. I also love the lesson, that being perfect doesn't work, can't work. I have read it at a time when that lesson was exactly what I needed to be reminded of. I will end up rereading this book, a rare occurrence in my world when there are so many fascinating new things to read. I love this book.
Housewitch is the best contemporary fiction book I've read in a long time! Katie Schickel is brilliant in creating the space where magic occurs, right from the opening scene on the marsh - the land that almost is, and almost isn't. Her characters are believable and memorable; some are outright hysterical. Schickel makes insightful social commentary throughout, particularly in regards to Glamour. She writes, "Do you know what glamour is, Freya? Glamour is an enchantment. It's a way of making people see things that aren't so... Not exactly a lie... More like a deception. It's something that isn't all the way true, and isn't all the way untrue. Just as the times in between are neither past nor future. The not times, we call them. The in-between time. Dusk, dawn, midnight, new moon, full moon. These are the not times when the doors to the other worlds are open, and when the magic is most potent..." Magic and glamour are Schickel's media for exploring the world of 2015 with excruciatingly funny and spot-on social commentary.
Schickel seamlessly weaves together worlds from two eras, addressing plot twists and values that bring us into the living rooms and kitchens of our modern day, in a too-perfect town we all can relate to. But is it perfect? What is beneath the veneer and what magic does it hold, both dark and light? Schickel's main character Allison navigates this world with lattes, humor, hope, and deftness that she gains throughout the story as she comes to terms with her roots and her true nature. She is aided by the most endearing cast of characters in her family and the most believable cast of characters in her town. Katie Schickel nails it, in a style that is all her own, and one that will send her along the path of great American writers.
I was terribly hesitant due to the kindle price. That's the cost of a hard back fantasy fiction, I mean... NOT the regular price of an e book, especially for an unknown author.
It was a good book, I do hope there are more in the series. But still.. The price is way too high. I'm still sort of regretting my purchase as in these years I've never spent that much on an ebook. Even from celebrated, master authors.
I cannot say enough good things about this book other than it was great. What's better than modern day witches? You get sucked right into the characters from the first generation then, to the modern generation now. It has funny moments and moments any mother can relate to. I loved it, didn't want to put it down.
I was captivated by this book from the first page. The story revolves around a woman, brought up in foster care, who is forced to deal with her family's magical tendencies, and how she comes to terms with who she is. She struggles to fit in with the A-list moms in town, something I can relate to! I found the characters well-written and likeable, and the story moves at a perfect pace. I look forward to more books by Katie Schickel!
I purchased this on a whim and I'm so glad to have stumbled across this author. The protagonist has a lovely, easy to read voice. This is, by turns, laugh out loud funny and tragic. The author captures beautifully a mother's desire to excel at mothering and to still belong to herself. Loved it. I'll eagerly read everything else this writer offers! Thanks for the fantastic read.