Berkley. Oct. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9780593202029. $27. HORROR
In the wake of being dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie leaves New York City for a teaching job in a small town that’s practically ripped from the opening scenes of a Hallmark Channel romance. It’s going to be a new start for Annie, one where she can find herself. First she finds Sophie, a magnetic, mysterious local woman with a strange hold over the town. The two spark an immediate friendship, and as Sophie reveals the source of her strange magnetism, Annie begins to discover she’s got hidden power of her own. It’s no surprise that Harrison’s (The Return) latest traffics in witchcraft, but there’s nothing predictable about her take. She writes about women’s autonomy and how it can be seen as a threat; about heteronormative romance and how it can suppress who women truly are. It’s served in a friendship story that showcases Harrison’s strength at writing powerful and empowered women with razor-sharp wit and a touch of darkness. This book wonders why this kind of woman is feared; in Harrison’s hands, we’re totally under their spell.
VERDICT Recommended for public library collections.
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