Black Candle Women

Graydon House. Feb. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781525899911. $27.99. F
DEBUT Brown’s first novel is a gripping Black family drama that involves four generations of the family living under one roof in California. The Montrose women have been cursed for generations. Thanks to a curse cast by a New Orleans voodoo priestess in the 1950s, anyone whom a Montrose woman falls in love with will die. When the youngest Montrose daughter, Nickie, brings home a boy for the first time, the other Montrose women must decide how to tell her about the curse and come to terms with their own past traumas. The story switches between four points of view, spanning three generations of the women in the house; each of the women feels real and complex. The voodoo in the book is rooted in actual practices, and at the end of the book Brown credits the people who helped her research it. While this novel deals with grief, generational trauma, addiction, and more, it provides readers with a feeling of hope at the end.
VERDICT A cozy autumn or winter read with a main cast of complex Black women. Brown’s debut tackles generational trauma in an engaging and heartfelt way.
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