Monday 20 July 2020

Review: The Year of Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Village in this stunning feminist debut . . .
Born on the fringes of Bethel, Immanuelle does her best to obey the Church and follow Holy Protocol. For it was in Bethel that the first Prophet pursued and killed four powerful witches, and so cleansed the land.
And then a chance encounter lures her into the Darkwood that surrounds Bethel.
It is a forbidden place, haunted by the spirits of the witches who bestow an extraordinary gift on Immanuelle. The diary of her dead mother . . .
Fascinated by and fearful of the secrets the diary reveals, Immanuelle begins to understand why her mother once consorted with witches. And as the truth about the Prophets, the Church and their history is revealed, so Immanuelle understands what must be done. For the real threat to Bethel is its own darkness.

Review: I don’t normally read a lot of books about witches but boy am I glad I read this book. This book has amazing intersectional feminism, a great exploration of identity and then some magical realism and issues with curses and plagues all rolled into one novel. I have no idea how Alexis Henderson did it! I am in awe. 

Immanuelle is such an interesting character because she has such conflicting identities going on. She has her family, very much part of her past, the church and community, her present and then she has her own views and values which are basically her future. I loved the way she handled herself throughout the novel and that this book is very much about her and the way she handles the problems that she is faced with. I felt very sorry for her and wanted to champion her throughout the book. 

The magic in this book is just the right level of magic for me as a reader. I could picture the curses and plagues involved in all of the issues that Immanuelle faces. Everything is very believable and it all ties in with the stories of witches I grew up with, the Salem Trials and the dunking in Tudor England. I loved the mix of real and magical here, it ties together nicely with the issues of religion and darkness throughout the book. 

I also really loved the description of the setting in this book. I could picture the dark woods and Immanuelle’s home. I could picture the other woman described and the pastor and their marriage ceremonies! Overall I really enjoyed Immanuelle’s story and would love to read more from this author in the future!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

1 comment:

  1. Great review!

    I haven't read many books with witches; the few that I have, I've enjoyed. This one sounds like a great read. I'll have to see if I can get a hold on it.