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The Witches of New York: A Novel by Ami…
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The Witches of New York: A Novel (original 2014; edition 2017)

by Ami McKay (Author)

Series: The Witches of New York (book 1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5083134,510 (3.78)35
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.… (more)
Member:redwritinghood38
Title:The Witches of New York: A Novel
Authors:Ami McKay (Author)
Info:Harper Perennial (2017), 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:to-read

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The Witches of New York: A Novel by Ami McKay (2014)

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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Eleanor St Clair & Adelaide Thom run a (psychic) tea shop in NY. Unbeknownst to Eleanor, Adelaide has put an announcement in the papers looking for a shop-girl/assistant>

Beatrice sees the advertisement, hops on a farm train to apply for the position, but not before typing a witch's ladder. When she arrives Cleopatra's Needle is being unloaded from the docks, and as soon as she touches it her life changes.

Beatrice can now see spirits & ghosts.... as Eleanor & Adelaide help Beatrice come into her own; a malevolent man who hides behind the bible will become Beatrice's nemesis & tormentor...

A very fascinating book that is well written, enthralling with a compelling story of three witches living in NY working to help others.

I am happy I purchased this rather than waiting for the Library to reopen in order to get it. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jun 4, 2020 |
3.5 stars

It is the 1880s. 17-year old Beatrice heads to New York to try to get an advertised shop girl job at “Tea and Sympathy”. It turns out the ladies who run Tea and Sympathy (Eleanor and Adelaide) are witches, and Beatrice is showing tendencies towards such, as well as seeing and hearing ghosts. We learn about all three women, their histories, and how things go forward at this time in NYC while the three are considered witches.

I liked Beatrice’s story, in particular, but what I wasn’t crazy about was all the different changing perspectives of so many different characters. I don’t like when I’m a good chunk of the way in and a new character is introduced and I have to try to fit them in. This happened quite a bit in this book, as there was a lot of flopping all over the place, following all the different characters. Toward the end, the story picked up speed a bit, so overall, I’m still rating it good. ( )
  LibraryCin | May 21, 2020 |
The Witches of New York - McKay
3 stars

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

This book has one of my favorite historical settings, late 19th century New York City. The original premise of the Tea and Sympathy tea shop caught my interest. It’s not your ordinary tea shop. The tea blends are more like potions and you can have your fortune told while you wait. Also, there’s a very intelligent raven. And there are ghosts. Events begin when the tea shop’s two owners hire a young woman assistant. All three of the women are witches with varying talents.

I liked the characters. I liked the setting. But, somehow the story never took off for me. The atmosphere becomes very dark with an emphasis on the violent misogyny of Anthony Comstock’s New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. The superstitious preaching of a witch hunting minister has murderous consequences that were a bit too graphic. I was probably expecting a more lightweight story, but that wasn’t my biggest problem with the book. There was such a lack of communication between the protagonists; so much ‘she decided not to say/tell’. It became tedious and felt like a contrived manipulation to create suspense. I was willing to believe the witchcraft, but maybe I was just not in the right mood for characters who refuse to see the obvious.

I gave up on the audio about halfway through the book. I usually like Julia Whelan. There was nothing much wrong with her performance although it could be a bit monotone. I think it was just too slow for an already slowly developing plot. This is apparently the first book of a series which might account for a slow pace. I might be willing to try a second book just to find out. ( )
  msjudy | Apr 14, 2020 |
It was engaging, but overall I found it pretty cliched and the constant descriptive use of "gypsy" was grating.

Also the xmas scene at the end made no sense. She'd been beaten and starved; her hair had been chopped off; she'd been branded, for god's sake. And her aunt showed no apparent curiosity or concern over what had happened. What gives? Did her hair just magically grow back in a month? She didn't seem traumatized at that point? All the bruises and injuries had faded? It was plain weird--as if the author didn't want to ruin the warmth of that scene by considering the implications of her physical state when going back to see her aunt. ( )
  andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
If you're looking for a gritty crime book about Victorian NYC, this ain't it. McKay softens the edges around violence in a manner akin to a cosy M.C. Beaton or Agatha Christie-esque murder novel -- and I don't think there's anything wrong with that! It's a fine story, and the atmosphere she creates in the tea shop makes me wish it were real place and that I could go there. Perdu is my favourite. :) ( )
  Sonya_W | Feb 5, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
A rebel! How glorious the name sounds when applied to a woman. Oh rebellious woman, to you the world looks in hope. Upon you has fallen the glorious task of bringing liberty to the earth and all the inhabitants thereof - Matilda Josyln Gage
Resist much, obey little - Walt Whitman
Dedication
For Mary Ayer Parker who was hanged at Gallows Hill, September 22, 1692.
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In the dusky haze of evening a ruddy cheeked newsboy strode along Fifth Avenue proclaiming the future.
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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.

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