Author: Melissa De La Cruz
There is a township in a part of Long Island untouched by neither time nor sophistication. North Hampton lies fallow and magnificent on the Atlantic coast, its families long generational and tight knit. Across from the tiny community lies Gardiners Island, long deserted. The Manor House, called Fair Haven, on Gardiners Island is special. Owned by generations of absentee owners, the Gardiners, Fair Haven holds the seam to the glom, the place between our world and another world. No one has seen a Gardiner for years. Until now. Suddenly, a light is spotted in Fair Haven. New inhabitants? Rich but unknowledgeable rich owners? No, Branford and Killian Gardiner have returned at long last. And Freya Beauchamp and Branford (Bran) Lyon Gardiner are engaged, to the consternation of the uppity fox-and-hunt townspeople of North Hampton. Then Freya makes a seemingly fatal mistake. She allows Bran’s gorgeous younger brother Killian to seduce her – at Bran and Freya’s engagement party.
Like Alice Hoffman, with a snippet of Ann Tyler, Melissa De La Cruz places the stereotype of three good witches, throws them into an urn, shakes them up and delivers three of the most interesting characters in years. Thrusting Joanna, Freya and Ingrid Beauchamp into her own realm of the extraordinary, and ephemeral, De La Cruz produces her own magic through her pen, and her delightful debut adult novel swarms with a bee’s nest of bizarre occurrences caused by three witches – who have lost their powers. A refreshing change from all the vampire swoon novels abounding today, the Witches of East End snakes in a little Updike too!
Matriarch Joanna Beauchamp and her two daughters, Freya and Ingrid live as normal women within the boundaries of small, territorial and uppity North Hampton. Until they decide to break the Great Council’s law, put upon them when Freya and Ingrid were hung as witches in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Freya works as a bartender, Ingrid is a librarian, and Joanna tends hearth and home. As the three women begin to practice a little bit of their magic, here and there, they become alive again.
Freya, the wild child, throws a few love potions into her drinks. Freya holds the gift of charms and potions to cure heartaches. Ingrid, the sensitive and mousy librarian, starts helping people at the library, for her gift is the power of seeing into the future, and reading people’s auras and thoughts. Joanna, a devoted mother, resurrects people from the dead and heals injuries. She begins to let go too, ignoring the Great Council, and the oracle, and brings one of the townspeople back to life on his journey to the world of the dead.
This novel has to be read. Miss De La Cruz is enormously talented, and as she winds in and out of Freya, Ingrid and Joanna’s very real lives, she imparts their compassion and kindness as they whip their gifts around their North Hampton neighbors – until tragedy strikes. With a plot that whips like a tornado, and characters we dare to love, The Witches of East End becomes one of those novels that is simply more than entertaining. More than just a fun read. It is superbly enticing.
Miss De La Cruz has created what I am sure is first in a series of novels about three of the most human witches to appear in a long while! Can’t wait for the next in the series! Thoroughly, and witchily, delicious!
Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family) is available for pre-order from Amazon.com
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own.
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