Saturday, December 5, 2015

Book Review: The Witches of Cambridge

by: Menna van Praag

I was so excited to read this book. I kept putting it off, because then I'd be out of Menna's books again. She hooked me with The Dress Shop of Dreams.

It was really so good. There really are witches, so the magic isn't quite as subtle in this one. All the witches know they are witches. They are the Witches of Cambridge because they meet once a month and are either professors or students of one of the colleges. I loved how quickly they came together to support one another. They really weren't all that close at the beginning. Like they knew each other and were friends, but not BFFs, you know? Then Noa walks into Amandine's office and both their lives change.

Amandine has super empathy, but all she can see are feelings. She can feel her husband pulling away from her, from their little family but she can't see why. When Noa walks in with the ability to see secrets and no ability to keep it to herself, Amandine sees a solution for her dilemma. She relunctantly invites Noa to the group and while no one likes the secrets revealed, everyone is pretty kind to her, which is a new experience. But still, Noa can't stand her ability and would give anything to get rid of it. Enter handsome, artistic stranger. He cures her of her curse and changes the direction of Noa's life, but is it the blessing she initially thinks it is?

Then there's a love triangle between Kat who loves George and her sister, Cosima, who just wants a baby and accidentally casts a love spell on George. There is danger with these girls giving birth, rare blood disorder that killed their mom.

And finally there's Amandine's mother, who has been grieving her dead husband for 2 years now. And she also blames herself for his death. So sad, but thanks to her daughter's push, she is trying to join the land of the living. She even finds someone she is interested in, thanks to the owner of the book stall she likes to frequent.

This book was full of people and story lines, and sometimes it was too much splitting up. But I liked it. The only problem I had was the quick ending that really went to fast without enough description. And it was all "do this but we don't know why, we just know it will work!" nonsense. I truly loved the book until then, but I don't regret reading it. I would just have liked her to slow down and keep the steady flow she'd had until then.