I’ve polished off my first book for the year and have now launched into the second. The first book was a Christmas gift, the giver knowing that I had read the first of this author’s novels and enjoyed it. The book Now and Future Witches by Alix E.Harrow is a fantasy with a historical setting. It takes place in Salem, setting of the famous witch trials of the late 1600’s.
It is set at the end of the 1800’s and suffragists are gaining ground in the movement for women’s rights. Into this come the Eastwood sisters, initially estranged from each other but being brought back together by a combination of strong wills, curiosity and a desire for the betterment of women. Add a little witchery and you have an engrossing plot.
What interested me most was the way people not readily understood, people who could be termed “different” or those who may be on the fringes by way of interest or lifestyle can so easily become the target of the mass. Scapegoats. How we condemn and ostracize what we don’t understand or more importantly in this case, the things that challenge or serve to disempower. And how so many seek not to try and understand but rather strike out. That accusation can be a powerful weapon, as witnessed in the original witch trials where hysteria got so control of the mass and fear overran reason, becomes clear. What better way to suppress suffragists than associate them with witchcraft and to remove strong women by labelling them witches?
That said, it is an entertaining book, with engaging well developed characters and a good plot. Fantasy weaving around history and written beautifully, allowing for the capturing of the setting and the varying moods. And an unexpected ending, but you’ll have to discover that for yourself.
All in all, a very good book to start the year with.
Off to continue my new book,