The Orphan Witch

St. Martin’s Griffin Sept. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781250823632. $30.99. FANTASY
Crutcher’s first full-length novel is an intriguing fantasy about magic, family, and time travel. Persephone May has always known that she is different: abandoned as a child, she could never keep ties to people because strange things always happen around her. When a young man nearly dies after looking into her eyes, she must find a new job and home once again. Serendipity intervenes, in an email from an acquaintance named Hyacinth Ever who asks Persephone to come visit her on Wile Isle. Persephone accepts and discovers that Wile Isle feels more like home than anywhere she has lived before. Soon it is revealed that Hyacinth and her sister Moira are Persephone’s cousins and all three are witches. Persephone is drawn into a cursed history, one that affects her family and her powers, and learns that Wile Isle has a curse that only she can lift.
VERDICT The novel’s intricate Western European–inspired worldbuilding and layered characters make it a fit for fans of Alice Hoffman and Deborah Harkness.
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