I received a beautiful proof copy of Now She is Witch from @VintageBooks in a giveaway. At no point was I asked to write a review.
Lux doesn’t have much in the world. She used to live with her mother in a run down house selling potions to local families who never really trusted them. She is at one of the very lowest and fragile points of her life when she and Else meet. Lux suspects that Else is a witch from the North, the ones she has heard many stories about in her childhood, but Lux decides to travel with her and find out what the forest, and beyond, can offer her.
Lux and Else encounter a variety of characters on their journey; those who bring hope and warmth, as well as those who darken the story by abusing their power and committing terrible crimes. They both try hard to maintain their sense of identity as the people they meet try to influence and persuade them.
There are two points that didn’t sit quite right with me. One was the language used by Lux when referring to her more intimate parts. I wasn’t sure this added to the story necessarily but perhaps gave an insight into how others spoke to her while she was growing up. The other was the fact that I couldn’t put an age on Lux as she grew up. At the start of the story she was a young teenager, but some of the stories she told would have been even more shocking had she been talking about herself at a younger age. I’m grateful that I didn’t really know the full timeline of the book.
After learning of Lux’s fate, we then hear Else’s backstory. I had my suspicions about Else, and one of them was true, but the details of her life brought a feeling of completeness, filling in the gaps that Lux’s story had missed.
Now She is Witch looks at the varying roles women take and the ways men use their power to control them. It is full of violence and hatred, with glimmers of hope, and a sense of belonging.
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