A few weeks ago a finished reading the amazing book “The Witches of New York”, by Amy McKay. Since them, I’ve been thinking about the characters, their lives and of course their amazing tea shop.
The story is set in New York at the end of the 19th century and features three astonishing women. The first few pages read like portraits of the city and of the strange humans that populate it. Seemingly distinct characters end up linked and intertwined in the amazing tale that is spun by McKay. The historical cues and background create the perfect backdrop for the three main characters: Adelaide Thom, Eleanor St. Clair and Beatrice Dunn.
These three women end up sharing their lives and tragic stories in a mysterious tea shop where Adelaide reads cards (but mostly people), Eleanor prepares teas (but mostly potions), and Beatrice becomes their apprentice (but mostly their friend). Overlooking their doings is Perdu, the (magical) pet raven.
Filled with signs, plants, superstitions and fabulously strong female characters, the story sucks the reader in a turn-of-the-century universe that makes reality seem dull and boringly mundane.
I highly recommend this book because its characters are haunting, and because the book gives the reader an idea of what it meant to be an independent woman a century ago. Is it a feminist book? Sure, in the most magical and natural sense of the word. I’m patiently waiting for the author’s next book which will also feature the same witches. Expect a review this fall! If you are interested in looking at how the author writes and researches her books, I suggest checking out her website for really interesting resources.