By chapter 2 this book I had never read before was a comfort read. I’m not even surprised by that. Ann Aguirre writes books that are fun and kind. Her books are fluffy cinnamon rolls, even when she is delving into emotionally difficult topics.
The Only Purple House in Town exists in the Fix-It Witches universe. Iris Collins is a disappointment to (most of) her family of psychic vampires. When we first meet Iris, she feels like a failure because her abilities have never manifested and she hasn’t been able to support herself financially. She’s in debt to her housemates, owes back rent to her landlord, and desperately does not want to ask her family to bail her out again. Fortuitously, she is notified that she has received a bequest from her great aunt – her home in St. Claire, Illinois and a little cash.
When Eli Reese was little, Iris stood up to the bullies who were harassing him. Eli was too shy to talk to Iris again, but he never forgot her. When he sees her again at a coffee shop in St. Claire he chooses to be brave. Since Iris is looking for renters, she mistakes Eli for a prospective tenant, and he choose to not correct her. Iris begins to gather a household of people who need a soft place to land.
There is some plot in these vibes, but I was just happy to spend time in the Violet Gables house and read along as individuals became a community. They each have their own burdens and idiosyncrasies, and learn to accept and respect each other. Aguirre’s world is delightfully queer. In the current climate of hostility and violence, Aguirre’s books are a safe and welcoming space. There is bigotry and conflict, but acceptance and joy win.
You don’t have to have read any of the previous books in the Fix It Witches universe to enjoy The Only Purple House in Town. I do recommend that you read them, just for the enjoyment value. I have them all and preordered this one.
CW: toxic families, death of parents in past, memories of bullying, feelings of isolation and failure, threats of harassment and bigotry.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.