Expected publication: April 1st 2017
Number of pages: 304
I was excited for a chance to read a great family story about secrets and witches, much like The Secret Life of Bees. Unfortunately this was not what I expected but it was anyway a good story.
A woman and her child come to an old house to get their inheritance. This is the first time in years that the main character visited her grandmother’s home and it’s because of something that happened in the past. Her grandmother was a lovely woman and known as a witch.
There are two parallel stories: the first one is about Jen as grown up who has only memories of her childhood, a husband and a daughter. They have no money and that’s mostly because her husband is trying to pursue his dreams of becoming a musician while spending little money they have. The pair exchange messages all the time and they seem like they’re in love but the first signal of something being wrong is Jen’s memory of her grandmother not liking her boyfriend, then husband. Later we see what Jen is obviously failing to see: her husband is manipulative and is trying to fulfill his dreams no matter the cost.
The second story is about Jen growing up and her childhood being mostly about her grandmother Lily. Lily gives her the freedom she craves, she has magical cure for everything and she keeps secrets about her family.
Lily’s house becomes a shelter from the world for Jen and her daughter and the distance that’s now between Jen and Daniel shows what’s really between them. The story about violence in marriage is mentioned not once but many times and it’s quite amazing how that theme is subtly mentioned, suggesting that domestic violence is not something shocking and unpredictable, it’s something that exists everywhere and in every time.
The writing is simple but also detailed and enough to hook any reader from the beginning. What’s missing is a little bit more, more atmosphere, more about Lily, more about Jen’s life outside her relationship to make this novel unforgettable.
*I received this book on NetGalley and gave it my honest review. Thanks for sharing!