Allison Darling, former foster child, now a stay-at-home mom of three, desperately wants to fit in with the organic latte drinking, hundred-dollar-yoga-pants-wearing moms who run Monrovia, her charming seaside village. Constantly feeling like an outsider, Allison dreams of more for her children. When the Glamour Girls, a soap-selling company run by the most charismatic and powerful women in town, recruits Allison, she jumps at the invitation. The Glamor Girls have a hand in everything in Monrovia, from bake sales to business deals. This is what Allison’s wanted her whole life—to be liked. To be popular. To belong. After Allison’s estranged mother passes away, she learns her family’s heartbreaking legacy and the secret Allison’s been fighting to suppress all her life emerges: she’s a witch. What’s more, she’s not the only one in town. There’s more to the Glamour Girls then it seems… and once you’re a Glamour Girl, there’s no going back. Allison must use her rediscovered magic to defend Monrovia, protect her marriage and her children, and reclaim her legacy. Fighting tooth and nail for her family is easy, but what about for herself? Is it too late to confront her own demons and become the woman she dreams of being?
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published: February 17th 2015 by Forge Books
Three and a half stars: A fun witchy read in a perfect town with dark secrets.
Allison wants desperately to fit in with the rest of the perfect moms in Monrovia. Yet no matter how hard she pushes, she can't seem to attain the easy perfection that the rest of the pink cashmere cape wearing ladies exude. Things change when Allison is at the local carnival. Inexplicably, her long buried magic reemerges. Soon Allison learns the truth behind the return of her magic. Before long she begins to understand what is really going on in Monrovia, and she finds herself in an epic struggle to save her family. Can Allison survive Monrovia?
What I Liked:
- I was thrilled to pick up a solid adult witch book. I enjoyed the characters, the story, and I especially loved learning the truth about the perfect town of Monrovia. Appearances are deceiving and it turns out there are dark forces at work in Monrovia. If you are in the mood for a fun witchy read, I recommend Housewitch.
- Allison is a likable heroine, one who I was easily able to connect with. Allison is the typical, ordinary housewife, frazzled with trying to take care of her husband and children, while hoping to fit in with the elite ladies in her community. Except that Allison is a bit different, she is actually a witch. Allison has endured plenty of hardship as she was abandoned by her mother at the age of seven, and then spent the rest of her childhood in foster care. She has never felt accepted, until she is taken in by the women of Monrovia. It was easy to see why Allison so desperately wanted to fit in with the glamorous gals, but once she learns the truth, I admired that she didn't lose her moral compass, and that she did the right thing even when it cost her greatly. In the end, Allison was a character whom I admired.
- The story quickly drew me in. It starts out in 1943 with three young witches, and then it moves forward to present day where we meet Allison. As the story progresses, it goes back and forth in time between Allison and the three witches in the past. These glimpses in the past, help the reader to understand why the dark witch was motivated to behave the way she does. I thought the author did a good job of integrating the past and the present, and I had no trouble with the flashbacks. It ended up being a fun, exciting and entertaining mystery.
- If you love magic and mayhem, this is the perfect read for you. I liked the magic, particularly when things notch up after Allison joined the coven. The spells and their outcomes were fun and entertaining, and some of the spells were downright devious.
- There is a bit of a mystery surrounding the town of Monrovia, Astrid and the Dark Witch. It was easy to connect the dots and figure out the big reveal, and even though I knew it was coming, I liked the way it all played out.
- I enjoyed this book, and I am hopeful that this is the first in a series. The ending left several things undone, and I think there is more story to tell. We don't get too many adult witch books, and so I hope there are more books planned.
And The Not So Much:
- The ending was rapid and it concluded with way too many unanswered questions, especially concerning Freya. What happened to her? Will she reemerge? I didn't like that her fate was left hanging. I also wanted to know how the rest of the coven fared. What about Judy and the Half Way House? I am hoping that another book is planned because I felt like the book was too open ended.
- While I liked the flashbacks to the past, I was disappointed that there wasn't more information about Allison's mother. I wanted to know so much more about her, especially as to why she never contacted Allison or why she didn't leave any written notes behind explaining things. I also wondered about Allison's father, who was he? Where was he? I was also troubled by the whole story line with the three witches father. What type of relationship did he have with his wife and daughters? How did the mother act when she learned his fate?
Housewitch was an entertaining and fun read, think Stepford Wives meets Witches of Eastwick. I thoroughly enjoyed this witchy tale, but I was a bit let down by the rapid ending that left too many story lines undone. I am hoping that there are more books planned because I would very much like to go back and catch up with Allison, Aurora and the rest of the folks in Monrovia. If you are looking for a magical realism book, I recommend Housewitch.
"You don't forget the way home, no matter how long it's been."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.