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The Witches of New York: A Novel

The Witches of New York: A Novel

Scris de Ami McKay

Povestit de Julia Whelan


The Witches of New York: A Novel

Scris de Ami McKay

Povestit de Julia Whelan

evaluări:
4.5/5 (98 evaluări)
Lungime:
14 hours
Lansat:
Jul 11, 2017
ISBN:
9780062681829
Format:
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Descriere

“Wonderfully wicked and deliciously dark, The Witches of New York had me totally spellbound. Reminiscent of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Ami McKay has written a book brimming with atmosphere, intrigue, and a cast of mesmerising characters. I loved it.” — Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home

Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply.

New York in the spring of 1880 is a place alive with wonder and curiosity. Determined to learn the truth about the world, its residents enthusiastically engage in both scientific experimentation and spiritualist pursuits. Séances are the entertainment of choice in exclusive social circles, and many enterprising women—some possessed of true intuitive powers, and some gifted with the art of performance—find work as mediums.

Enter Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair. At their humble teashop, Tea and Sympathy, they provide a place for whispered confessions, secret cures, and spiritual assignations for a select society of ladies, who speak the right words and ask the right questions. But the profile of Tea and Sympathy is about to change with the fortuitous arrival of Beatrice Dunn.

When seventeen-year-old Beatrice leaves the safety of her village to answer an ad that reads "Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply," she has little inclination of what the job will demand of her. Beatrice doesn't know it yet, but she is no ordinary small-town girl; she has great spiritual gifts—ones that will serve as her greatest asset and also place her in grave danger. Under the tutelage of Adelaide and Eleanor, Beatrice comes to harness many of her powers, but not even they can prepare her for the evils lurking in the darkest corners of the city or the courage it will take to face them.

Lansat:
Jul 11, 2017
ISBN:
9780062681829
Format:
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Despre autor

Ami McKay is the author of the number–one Canadian bestseller The Birth House, winner of three Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards, and a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and The Virgin Cure. Originally from Indiana, she now lives with her husband and two sons in Nova Scotia.

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  • (4/5)
    I loved The Virgin Cure by this author, but The Witches of New York didn’t quite meet my expectations. The premise was so promising: New York City of the 1880’s, 3 Witches running a tea shop and herbal apothecary, suffragettes. The era and subject matter (magic, witchcraft, herbalism, spiritualism) was well researched and the main characters pretty well fleshed out. I loved the raven and fairies. What I wasn’t expecting was for the novel to be almost Young Adult at some points, especially the young trainee, Beatrice. Also, the plot pacing sagged here and there, and the author fell into some stereotypes (handsome, reluctant suitor and villainous preacher) that I’m sure she could have made more three dimensional - I have a good opinion of her writing skills generally. So, a better than average read, but not as good as it might have been considering this writer’s ability.
  • (3/5)
    As enjoyable as I found this book, I was also frustrated by the utter predictably of its plot and a central villain as flat as matte paint.What I loved: The setting. The characters. The voice. This book SINGS. The feminist note is positive and full of celebration. The author obviously did incredible research into late 19th century New York City; the place and its witches contain beating hearts. The floating points of view work. The three lead women are amazing. Eleanor, a well-trained witch who takes pride in her tea shop and its role in aiding women, and hides her own yearning for their intimate company. Adelaide, a fortune teller by trade who lost her eye to a vicious attack but hasn't lost her true beauty. And Beatrice, the young woman who comes to the city to find a job and finds the place teeming with mysteries and ghosts--and horror unlike she has ever known.What didn't work: This book falls into the frustrating category of literary-marketed books that borrows heavily from fantasy genre conventions and tries to utterly ignore those roots because, well, LITERARY. This makes the entire plot note-for-note predictable. This dismayed me to no end. I loved the book through the beginning, but by the middle, dismay was starting to set in. I so wanted this book to use its shiny premise and do something new and amazing with it. Instead, it offered zero surprises.This wasn't helped by the villain, an overdone trope of a passionate Christian preacher/sadist/murderer who is being helped along by the devil. I kept hoping there would be some fresh turn with his character, too, but nope. I started out so very in love with this book, ready to give it five stars., but in the end I'm left disappointed by its lack of originality and must only give it three.
  • (4/5)
    I don't really like stories about the supernatural, but Ami McKay is such a good writer with an ability to develop her characters well, so I didn't mind reading about witches in this book. To my mind, the story brought up issues about women's rights and the persecution of those who are different -- the fear of things we don't understand. I've actually ordered her second book with these characters (Eleanor, Moth and Beatrice)!
  • (4/5)
    As usual, the story was spell-binding and filled with wonderful intricate details. I really liked how the author had newspaper articles and pamphlets inserted into the story to help build the setting up. This is a very feminist-oriented novel that sheds light on the plight of women in the 1800s, during a time when being forthright and asserting one's rights were frowned upon. The blend of history with magic was masterfully done and quite enjoyable to read. I did find that the story moved at a slower pace than what I am used to by this author, but the tension was palpable throughout and it kept me going all the way until the end. There were certain story plots that I felt could have been explored in greater depth, but overall this story was very good, and I was pleased with my experience! Here's to more novels by Ami McKay!
  • (2/5)
    A special thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House/Knopf Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    Set two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom ('Moth' from The Virgin Cure) runs a tea shop with Eleanor St. Clair, that specializes in cures, potions, and spells. Feeling that they are run off their feet, Adelaide puts an ad in the local paper to secure extra help. Beatrice Dunn is a perfect fit, she has an untapped gift of seeing things and hearing things that nobody else can. The three main characters were rich and well-written, but were let down by the plot which ironically is given away in the blurb (hopefully this will be amended for the inside/back cover of the finished product).

    I loved the setting and descriptions throughout the city of New York in the Gilded Age. As much as I loved Ami McKay's other works The Birth House, and The Virgin Cure, this story was just average and I struggled at times to get through it. The beginning had a nice hook, and there were some others dispersed throughout the story which ended up propelling me to finish.
  • (4/5)
    Beatrice Dunn, age 17, has started to see ghosts. Convinced that she is a witch, she feels she needs some professional training outside of the small upper Hudson town where she has lived with her Aunt Lydia since her parents died and responds to an ad for a shopgirl in a New York tea shop with a strange addendum: "Those averse to magic need not apply."The shop, Tea & Sympathy, is run by two white witches, Adelaide Thom, a fortune teller and mind reader, and Eleanor St. Claire, a healer. Seeing her partner getting more and more worn out, Adelaide has placed the ad for help, unbeknownst to Eleanor; applicants will be entertained in person for one afternoon only. When a long line of would-be assistants appears outside the shop, Eleanor dismisses them all. But when Beatrice, late due to an accident, appears and swoons on the doorstep, Eleanor invites her in--and so begins a partnership of three.The novel is set in 1880, at the height of Anthony Comstock's morality campaign, and those who practice magic are one of the targets of his followers. It's chock full of fascinating characters, in addition to the three witches. There's Sister Piddock, devoted follower of a fire and brimstone (and likely mad) preacher who is bent on closing Tea & Sympathy. Quinn Brody, a one-armed veteran who has taken up his father's "scientific" research into the world beyond. The incarcerated madwoman who marred Adelaide's face with acid, determined now to finish her off. Plus a real demon, two invisible spirits called Dearies, and Perdu, a very prescient talking raven. The setting is also colored by ongoing reports of the progress of erecting Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park and by the blossoming woman's suffrage movement.Overall, I enjoyed the book but was disappointed as several threads of the story were left hanging at the end. As other readers have suggested, this probably indicates that a sequel is in the works; in fact, the character of Adelaide is the grown-up character Moth from another of McKay's novels, The Virgin Cure.
  • (3/5)
    Here's my thing about magic in fiction: I am not a fan of explicit magic use. I prefer things to be subtle -- the glimpse movement caught out of the corner of your eye that could be a ghost or could be just a drafty house.

    So this book -- had it been about three women reading body language, selling tea, using ouija boards... Had the paranormal aspect been more understated and left to the imagination... This would have been my favourite book ever.

    But the magic, the spirits, they're undeniably there, so this book turned out to be not exactly up my alley.

    However, it's a testament to Ami McKay's amazing writing that I still found this book enthralling. Really, I loved it -- the characters, the word choice, the descriptions, the examination of how women were treated. Ami McKay is always a delight to read.

    So, I'll say this. If you love literary fiction AND ghosts, absolutely pick this up. And if you're kind of dubious about the paranormal element... hey, give it a shot anyway. It might surprise you like it did me.
  • (1/5)
    Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St Clair work together in a cosy tea shop selling cures, potions and palmistry. They are not ordinary women they are witches. Beatrice Dunn also works in the shop alongside the two women.I have previously read The Virgin Cure where Adelaide was then Moth, the heroine of the story, which I throughly enjoyed. This book I'm not enjoying. It should have everything thst is normally up my street. I enjoy books set in the victorian times, especially London. The setting of New York I don't mind at all, There's plenty of superstitions and spells, witches and the odd ghost floating about.This is a perfect example for me of where one book is fantastic, I can't wait for the next one and when I read it I'm disappointed. It doesn't really matter if you haven't read The Virgin Cure as these two books are so completely different. Hardly anything is mentioned of the previous book.I am nearly half way through the book and I am bored. When I get bored I lose interest. The previous book had a quirkiness about it and was an interesting read. This book is slow going and I'm feeling a little let down. I was expecting to love this book fron the beginning and maybe along the lines of Practical Magic which I loved. The characters I liked but they just seem to do nothing but serve tea.Please reader don't be put off by me. The book for now is unfinished but I may try again later.Thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for giving me the chance to review the book.
  • (4/5)
    This is a fantastic book that reminds me very much of The Golem and the Jinni in its combination of historical fiction and fantasy, as well as The Night Circus in tone.
  • (5/5)
    The Good StuffWitches, ghost, women's rights, 1880's New York, what is not to loveThe mood of the story is marvelous, I felt like I was right there. A perfect book for reading tucked under a fluffy blanket on a cool fall nightThe heroines are marvelous. Likable, flawed and I felt a real connection to them (Ok and I sorta wish I could be a witch) Her writing is absolutely exquisite and haunting. I felt transported right into the timeI am very intrigued by Adelaide and have already ordered The Virgin Cure in order to learn moreI want the tea shop to be real and I want to go there, To hang around with like minded women - I think in this day and age we are missing this kind of community of supportHistory interwoven with witchcraft inspires you to want to know more about what women went through during this eraJust an exquisitely written tale that you can lose yourself in - and that my friends is such a wonderful thingThe Not So Good StuffA bit jumpy at times and confusing at times - but keep in mind that I am still in the midst of moving into a new house, However, I felt like it was missing a cohesion of storyI wanted more, I wanted everything tied up which is making me think McKay is going to write a sequel and if she doesn't I may be disappointedFavorite Quotes/Passages"Time and progress had caused these unfortunate souls to be forgotten, but their restless echoes had lived on, rising up through the cobblestones and pavers, acting as ghostly ether, provoking fear and dark thoughts. This is what happens when the dead don't get their due. This is what happens when the past is ignored.""The middle-aged doctor was far from being without sin, but he liked to (no, he needed) to feel that things he did and said and thought served to subtract from the overall chaos of the world. There was enough nonsense to go around these days without him adding to it.""She'd never thought of writing as an act of defiance, but those two marks proved it to be so. Her need to leave something of herself was overwhelming. If she was to die here, she wouldn't let him forget she'd live,"4/5 Dewey'sI received this from Penguin Random House in return for an honest review
  • (4/5)
    Don't you love the cover of Ami McKay's latest book - The Witches of New York?I had no idea what it was about when I picked it up, but I love McKay's writing, so I knew it would be good. And it was wonderful - literally magical!I began to read and was thrilled to find a character named Moth from McKay's The Virgin Cure. Moth has reinvented herself as Adelaide Thom and opened a tea shop with Eleanor St. Clair. The two women sell more than tea though. Eleanor outright describes herself as a witch and Adelaide has an innate ability to read people. When young Beatrice Dunn arrives looking for employment, Eleanor recognizes the untapped abilities and power the girl possesses. McKay's lead characters are magical, but not perfect which hits the right note. Others also see Beatrice's potential - witch hunters, religious fanatics, those desperate to contact the dead and an alienist. The sense of impending danger from these players had me not wanting to turn the page at some junctures. But of course I had to. There are also some decidedly unusual supporting characters - a raven who may not really be a bird, myriad ghosts and a pair of dream fairies.The setting is just as much of a player in the novel. McKay's depiction of 1880's New York conjured up vivid scenes crackling with detail and interspersed with historical fact. McKay captures the tone and fascination of the time period with conversing with the spirit world. And she had me wondering as well as I read the spells, wondered about that sudden breeze in a closed room and tried to remember the dream I had last night.McKay's prose are meant to be read slowly, savouring each sentence and situation and pausing to wonder what if? The Witches of New York is another excellent read from a very talented storyteller. I think there's more to this story - I wonder if McKay thinks so too?
  • (4/5)
    The setup was a slog but the end flew. I could see all the uses of witch, from polite bitch to lesbian, to charlatan to actual magic and it was interesting but sometimes I just wanted it to move on and get on with it. Occasionally becomes more a meditation about the uses of the word Witch to describe women who don't fit categories and refuse to be normalised but overall interesting.
  • (3/5)
    Not what I expected. It had a lot of possibility, just somewhat disappointed
  • (4/5)
    This was a great combination of historical fiction with a touch of witchcraft. I loved the characters, and I wish I could live in their world just a little bit longer. In some ways, the style reminded me of Harry Potter, with magic existing within our own (historical) world and interacting with ordinary and sometimes real figures (like Anthony Comstock). The plot concluded perfectly and I will certainly look for more from this author!
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely loved this!!! I do hope there will be more books to follow!
  • (3/5)
    I liked the beginning but then was left wanting for something more to happen, for the story to really get going. All in all it is really a story about women being different and how they have been viewed as apart from men over time. A good read in that respect but lacking on more of the adventure side of things.
  • (5/5)
    Awesome book. Especially if you're into witchcraft. Very good listen.

  • (5/5)
    Very entertaining. Well written and well read. I enjoyed from start to finish.
  • (5/5)
    Great storyline I felt as if I was there. Would love to hear more about the witches of New York. I couldn’t stop listening.
  • (5/5)
    I absolutely loved this as an audio book. The narrator was one of the best I have ever heard. I highly recommend this book. The characters were interesting. The story was a joy to listen to. I think every story has its audience; and, I definitely am a target with this book.
  • (5/5)
    I loved the character development. I cared about each and every character. I liked the historical fiction tied in throughout time period. The reader was easy to listen to her character acting was clear
  • (4/5)
    For more reviews please visit ouroborosfreelance.com.

    If you are interested in any of the following: mysticism, spiritualism, witches, demons, opium, absinthe, crazed clergy, surviving civil war soldiers with missing limbs, Egyptian obelisks, the djinn, fairy tales, spells, ghosts, the fae, talking animals, insane asylums, fortunetelling, scrying, herbal remedies, the Salem witch trials, women suffragists, mediums and/or folk magic - then this is the book for you.

    The Witches of New York tells the story of three witches. Eleanor comes from a long line of witches, absorbing her folksy magic from her mother. Adelaide learned fortune-telling while working for a side-show and quickly found she had a real knack for it. The too-smart and restless Beatrice moves to the City and learns that she’s a new kind of witch.

    There is so much history and magic contained in the pages of this book, that it is difficult to describe it exactly. McKay blends the real 1880’s New York with her fictional characters and circumstances so effortlessly that I found it difficult to discern the difference. Her descriptions are spot-on as well; when her characters walk down the street, you walk with them - you can hear the newsboys, smell the roasted peanuts, feel the cold on a sleigh ride through Central Park in January.

    Hopefully, this book is the first of a series or I will be sorely disappointed; many storylines were left unresolved at the end of the novel. Plus I would love to spend more time with these three witches of New York.

    (A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)
  • (3/5)
    3,5⭐ Great setting, likeable Main characters, lots of wonderful detail. But not enough plot to justify It's lenght.
  • (5/5)
    Five stars, this was a wonderful pro woman book start to finish.
  • (5/5)
    Great writing and story! Easy to listen to throughout my day.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    this book was such fun to read. Interesting play with "folk magic" and how it may have been used in the 1880's as it rode along beside the Suffragette movement and the rise of NY as a city filled with different sorts of people.

    1 person found this helpful