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The Witches of New York: A Novel by Ami…
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The Witches of New York: A Novel

by Ami McKay

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I love a good witch novel and this one did not disappoint. While it dragged a tad in the middle it was quite fun and kept me reading and interested, even in the slower spots. This is my first by McKay but I plan to read more. ( )
  ChelleBearss | May 20, 2018 |
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!
  wagner.sarah35 | May 10, 2018 |
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! ( )
  veeshee | Jan 29, 2018 |
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! ( )
  veeshee | Jan 8, 2018 |
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. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
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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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0676979580, Hardcover)

The beloved, bestselling author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure is back with her most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of a trio of remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft...


The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (Moth from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it's finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and gardien de sorts (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan's high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions--and in guarding the secrets of their clients. All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment.
     Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor's apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind? Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches' tug-of-war over what's best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force.
     As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they're confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:09:09 -0400)

"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. Sances 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"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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Ami McKay is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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