This was a big book that blended magic and Salem history beautifully! I am happy I chose it for my Halloween read this year. It’s a story of many things; witches and suffragettes, love and evil, motherhood and sisterhood. So many themes run through this well-thought out novel that it kept the pages turning furiously for me.
The story is about three Eastwood sisters. One by one they left their farm to head out into the world, not of their own choice but because their father was a cruel man. The youngest finally gets away only by killing him and going on the run as a fugitive. The three all converge years later in Salem, Massachusetts in 1893. Though the story is mostly about witches and their persecution, there is also a side story of women fighting for their right to vote and more. The oldest sister is a serious librarian with a dangerous secret, the middle is a factory worker trying her best to hide the fact that she’s pregnant, and the youngest is a wild and rebellious spirit with a chip on her shoulder. Together, they awaken the mystery of Avalon and bring back its magic in the form of an otherworldly tower holding all the written magic of time. Of course, there’s a bad guy to contend with and some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting.
If you’re a supporter of the gay, transgender, and black lives movements there are side stories of secondary characters that give life to these themes as well. The Eastwood sisters were truly ahead of their time.
Harrow’s writing was beautiful. She does a great job of writing in a way that is almost poetic, with fantastic use of vocabulary and sentence structure. Nothing was oddly worded. Everything flowed together so beautifully that it was easy to keep reading well past my bedtime.
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