I’m in a bit of a personal slump where I just haven’t had that voracious, must-read-now feeling, and that’s a bummer because this book deserved it. As opening lines go, this one hooked me right from the start, but I still slogged through it. I mean, look at this!
There’s no such thing as witches, but there used to be.
That is a hell of an opener. This book is so craftily written and I flagged so many lines but on the chore-to-pleasure scale, this still fell on the chore end and I feel like it was me, not the book. The Once and Future Witches is awesome, don’t let my personal failings dissuade you.
This book is set alongside the early suffragettes where women are crushed beneath the bootheel of the patriarchy in no small part because of the power they once held. American witchcraft died in the flames of Old Salem – but where the words and the ways were taken, the will remains. Three sisters are reunited in New Salem when the eldest, Bella, stumbles across an old verse; the middle, Agnes, is in need; and the youngest, Juniper, roars in furious from the homestead. They are three women who have determinedly grown into silos reckoning with the past actions that brought them to this place and the actions they will need to take to survive.
There are SO MANY layers of folklore here and it is truly beautiful. It isn’t all white ladies (though it is, mostly) and queerness is not ignored as so many stories of this era are wont to do. This is a story about power long forgotten, its threads passed woman to woman, mother to daughter, sister to sister. Maybe a little magic is all I need.
That’s all magic is, really: the space between what you have and what you need.”