by Rachel Harrison
Setting: New York
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Published on October 5, 2021
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover Source: Library

All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation.
Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?

I adored this book! This is the cozy wicked witch origin story that you didn’t know you needed. It has farmer’s markets, a quaint small town, amazing banter, lots of cooking and wine, and an adorable spider who likes to wear costumes. What’s not to love?

Annie moves to a small town in upstate New York that seems to be just a bit too perfect. She is taken under the wing of an impossibly glamorous woman who seems to know everyone in town. She just floats through life and … doesn’t seem to pay for anything? Sure, she joked about cursing Annie’s unruly high school students the night before a bad thing happened in class but that is just a coincidence, right?

Annie is dealing with a bad breakup and her confidence is shook. She needs someone to believe in her. So what if the town people keep warning her to stay away from her new friend? This is good for her. Yeah, Sophie has a lot of ghosts living in her mansion in the woods but that happens sometimes.

I haven’t seen witch stories written from this perspective before. I loved it and read most of it in one sitting. I liked the fact that the author didn’t keep Annie in the dark for too long. Once she admitted what Sophie was to herself, she embraced the life. This book takes female friendship and empowerment all the way to highest level. Watch out world!

That cover is just perfectly delightful too. I would absolutely buy that tea set.