The Witches of New York: A Novel by Ami McKay – Book Review

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The Witches of New York: A Novel by Ami McKay was published July 11th 2017 by Harper Perennial (first published October 8th 2016).. Synopsis: New York in the spring of 1880 is a place alive with wonder and curiosity. Determined to learn the truth about the world, its residents enthusiastically engage in both scientific experimentation and spiritualist pursuits. Séances are the entertainment of choice in exclusive social circles, and many enterprising women—some possessed of true intuitive powers, and some gifted with the art of performance—find work as mediums. Enter Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair. At their humble teashop, Tea and Sympathy, they provide a place for whispered confessions, secret cures, and spiritual assignations for a select society of ladies, who speak the right words and ask the right questions. But the profile of Tea and Sympathy is about to change with the fortuitous arrival of Beatrice Dunn. When seventeen-year-old

Beatrice leaves the safety of her village to answer an ad that reads “Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply,” she has little inclination of what the job will demand of her. Beatrice doesn’t know it yet, but she is no ordinary small-town girl; she has great spiritual gifts—ones that will serve as her greatest asset and also place her in grave danger. Under the tutelage of Adelaide and Eleanor, Beatrice comes to harness many of her powers, but not even they can prepare her for the evils lurking in the darkest corners of the city or the courage it will take to face them.

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About the author: Ami McKay’s debut novel, The Birth House was a # 1 bestseller in Canada, winner of three CBA Libris Awards, nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and a book club favourite around the world. Her new novel. The Virgin Cure, is inspired by the life of her great- great grandmother, Dr. Sarah Fonda Mackintosh, a female physician in nineteenth century New York. Born and raised in Indiana, Ami now lives in Nova Scotia.

My thoughts: THE WITCHES OF NEW YORK: A NOVEL by Ami McKay is a book that anyone who loves to read about witches will enjoy. McKay creates a very vivid and real setting that includes witches, spell books, herbal remedies and traditions that all center around witches. I like how the author uses the moon phases and deep-rooted history of New York in the 1880’s to create a uniquely evocative place that holds intriguing characters. The vividly clear description of the New York streets and landscapes was amazingly detailed that I could close my eyes and see exactly what she was describing. I feel like there is a lot of magic in this book which makes for a great read that will have you eager to turn the page. I like the relationship that the three women share and that they all share the same sense of troubles for the men who control the city. In a time when women behind closed doors were being persecuted just because of being a woman. Overall, I like the drama and history that THE WITCHES OF NEW YORK creates and I found this to be a great read. A book that I will definitely read again.

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