Off the Shelf: Plenty of New Books Feature a Witch Theme Just in Time for Halloween

By Sharon Saye on October 14, 2020 from Off the Shelf via

Spooky season is upon us, and although a lot of our traditional Halloween activities are somewhat limited, reading scary books is not.  This year there are several good books out this October with witches as their theme. 
Alice Hoffman returns to the world of her best-selling, “Practical Magic,’ with a prequel, “Magic Lessons,” that explains the curse that has affected the Owens’ family for centuries.  Maria Owens is a witch who falls in love with a handsome stranger who abandons her; she follows him to Salem and despite the town’s antipathy to witches, she decides she will have her revenge. 
The heroine of “The Year of the Witching” by Alexis Henderson is Immanuelle Moore who lives a restricted life bound by the rules of the Prophet.  Her mother disappeared into the forest only to return pregnant leaving her daughter burdened with sin in the eyes of the citizens.  When Immanuelle enters the forest, she encounters strange women who give her a diary and a prophecy that does not bode well for her, the community, or the Prophet. 
 “The Once and Future Witches” by Alix E. Harrow is set in an alternate 1893 where magic and women voting are outlawed.  This does not sit well with the Eastwood sisters and when a corrupt politician runs for mayor of New Salem, the sisters unite, gather allies, and use the one weapon only they can – magic. 
 “The Age of Witches” by Louisa Morgan is set in the Gilded Age and represents the culmination of events from two hundred years before when Bridget Bishop was hanged as a witch.  Two branches of her family still exist, but they have different goals and different methods.  One is devoted to healing and the other to power, but now this clash will play out with another young woman, Annis, who must find her own power and not succumb to darkness. 

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