There’s still no such thing as witches. But there will be.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow is set in New Salem, Massachusetts in 1893.
They say everything comes in threes. I wonder if they mean witches too. In this book, there are the Eastwood Sisters as well as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. It seems like witches come in three in books and movies.
The 3 Eastwood sisters- James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna- have reunited unexpectedly in New Salem. All of the sisters have learned witchcraft from their grandmother, Mama Mags. Unfortunately, Mama Mags has passed away but they remember her lessons.
There is an interesting story that the girls were told about St. George and the Tower.
It’s the usual version: once upon a time, there were three wicked witches who loosed a terrible plague on the world. But brave Saint George of Hyll rose against them. He purged witching from the world, leaving nothing but ashes behind him.
Finally, only the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone remained, the last and wickedest of witches. They fled to Avalon and hid in a tall tower, but in the end, Saint George burned the Three and their tower with them.
Keep this story in mind because it will come back and make sense later in the book. Also, this book is not just about witchcraft. Other issues in the book are the suffragette movement, LGBTQIA relationships, racism, and fathers who are the worst humans ever.
The Eastwood sisters are very different people with different gifts. Juniper is the youngest and the boldest. She is extremely determined and always ready to fight for what she thinks is right.
Agnes is pregnant throughout most of the book. She’s always finding love with the wrong people. Well, everyone loves her but she doesn’t love anyone until about the middle of this story.
Bella is a librarian. She does so much research to find stories about witches and also spells. She falls in love with Cleopatra Quinn, who is a writer for a newspaper.
Many years ago, the sisters had a falling out with each other and their horrible, toxic, abusive father. Now they are together fighting for something bigger than themselves – to be who they are in front of everybody. Witches!
If you want to read a book from the perspective of all three sister-witches, then this would be an excellent choice. I loved The Once and Future Witches so much. I would read it 100 more times if I had the time.
If you are Cotton Mather then you might not enjoy this book.