A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan
“After Grandmére Ursule gives her life to save her tribe, her magic seems to die with her. Even so, her family keeps the Old Faith, practicing the spells and rites that have been handed from mother to daughter for generations. Until one day, Ursule’s young granddaughter steps into the circle, and magic flows anew.
From early 19th century Brittany to London during the Second World War, five generations of witches fight the battles of their time, deciding how far they are willing to go to protect their family, their heritage, and ultimately, all of our futures.”
Check out that description. Badass women wielding magical powers, fighting injustice, and saving the future. Sounds interesting, yes? Well, actually, no.
As stated above, the novel follows five women in a generational tale set in England. Although these women are supposed to be five individuals, the author tells the same story (more or less) all five times: character has normal life; character suddenly discovers magical powers in both her mother and herself; character finds man to impregnate her; has a daughter; rinse and repeat. Given this framework, none of the characters really stand out–they all exist for the same purpose, and that is to pass along magic to a daughter. The ladies are reduced to breeding stock, in a sense, since they greatest achievement is always their child.
Except for the last character, anyway. And that’s the oddest thing of all. Four generations of nothing happening, and then, suddenly, one of the family helps to save England? By doing magic with Queen Elizabeth? Helping to turn the tide of World War II? Huh? There’s absolutely nothing to prepare readers for this rapid about-face in the plot. Actually, I should amend that: there’s nothing to prepare readers for the appearance of an actual plot, since nothing really happens in the first 80% of this book.
Honestly, I found this book to be boring. I forced myself to finish it, but I really didn’t enjoy it. I can’t even think of much to say about it, now that it comes down to me actually writing this review. Given how much I love to blab about books, that should be a huge red flag in and of itself.
This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
(Description nicked from Goodreads.com.)