The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witchesby Sangu Mandanna
Published on August 23, 2022
A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family—and a new love—changes the course of her life.
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules...with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos "pretending" to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn't the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for....
This book was so cute. It reminded me a little bit of The House by the Cerulean Sea.
Magic is secret in England. Witches stay away from each other except for meetings on the third Thursday of every third month. No need to draw attention to themselves. Mika chafes under the restrictions so she posts on social media where she “pretends” to be a witch.
Then an invitation arrives from someone who saw through her ruse. They are raising three orphaned witches and don’t know what to do. They need help before the girls expose their powers.
This book features a found family who have come together to help raise the girls. The girls come from all over the world. I particularly liked that the one girl’s first thought of how to deal with any issue is the murder the person who is bothering her. She’s very up front about it. She’ll even let you pick how you want to die. Spoiler – No one ever lets her do it though.
Niceness is all about what we do when other people are looking. Kindness, on the other hand, runs deep. Kindness is what happens when no one’s looking.
This is the main message of the book. People may seem grumpy or shy or murderous but you need to look deeper to see who they really are.
…danger came most often in the form of people like Edward, the nice people whose niceness only went so deep, who saved their niceness for people exactly like them, who believed they were more deserving of power and respect than anyone who was a little bit different.
The witches in the book are all ages and races. There are gay, lesbian, and straight relationships. It is a very inclusive and sex-positive story.
“You know my views,” said Primrose primly. “As a child, I instructed your nannies and tutors very specifically not to tell you what to drink, what to eat, and what to wear. That is because I believe what you put in your body is your business, and that,” she added, raising her teacup to her lips, “includes penises.”