30 Books in 30 Days, Vol. 3
This one was frustrating! The title absolutely is misleading. The only witches you will get in this book are in the introduction, and in Carmen Maria Machado’s foreword. So if you find yourself digging those two parts just brace yourself that’s not what the rest of the book is like. To be fair, for the most part I found the rest of the book interesting and never wanted to stop reading it, but I came for the witches, I was promised witches, and there were barely any witches.
The rest of the book is a loose feminist analysis of recent history and modern day culture that vilifies women. It’s organized into four large chapters, featuring “spinsters/hags”, childless women/the pressure to have a child, the institution of marriage, and women’s relationship to nature (the weakest part of the book by far). Chollet’s introduction claims that she will draw lines between the witch trials and how they have directly affected women today, how things might have been different, but there is almost none of that. She just talks about lots and lots of stuff, sometimes in no particular order, that isn’t linked back to witches and witch trials in any sort of satisfactory way.
I did tab the shit out of this book, but it’s pretty difficult to have me lose interest in this type of stuff, even though the tone was really academic. (Also not sure how the translation affected the content.) Anyway, might be worth reading for you, just know there aren’t nearly as many witches in this as you will be wanting.