I received a copy of Housewitch by Katie Schickel in exchange for an honest review.
Allison Darling, former foster child, now a stay-at-home mom of three, desperately wants to fit in with the organic latte drinking, hundred-dollar-yoga-pants-wearing moms who run Monrovia, her charming seaside village. Constantly feeling like an outsider, Allison dreams of more for her children.
When the Glamour Girls, a soap-selling company run by the most charismatic and powerful women in town, recruits Allison, she jumps at the invitation. The Glamor Girls have a hand in everything in Monrovia, from bake sales to business deals. This is what Allison’s wanted her whole life—to be liked. To be popular. To belong.
After Allison’s estranged mother passes away, she learns her family’s heartbreaking legacy and the secret Allison’s been fighting to suppress all her life emerges: she’s a witch. What’s more, she’s not the only one in town. There’s more to the Glamour Girls then it seems… and once you’re a Glamour Girl, there’s no going back.
Allison must use her rediscovered magic to defend Monrovia, protect her marriage and her children, and reclaim her legacy. Fighting tooth and nail for her family is easy, but what about for herself? Is it too late to confront her own demons and become the woman she dreams of being?
As a fellow Katie and a huge fan of witchy paranormal fiction, I was really looking forward to Schickel’s debut novel. I have to say that I’m not quite bewitched. Without providing any spoilers, Schickel seems to have one too many witch tropes working here. Orphan with a secret, backwoods magic, naturalists versus materialists, purposeful amnesia, Snow White glamours and Sleeping Beauty syndrome—it’s just too much! The best idea of the entire book is the suburban housewitch, but she doesn’t use that fabulous idea to its greatest potential. This reads to me as an unfinished idea that needed two more rounds of developmental editing to get to the gleaming diamond center.
I’m not saying I didn’t like it. I’m just saying it needed a bit more work. At 352 pages, this one could have been a solid 220 to make it absolutely witchtastic. If you want a little taste of magic in the modern world, peek in the pages of Housewitch. It’s an entertaining, if meandering, read.
Rating: 3 ½ Stars