The Witches of New York

The Witches of New York

Book - 2016
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The bestselling author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure is back with her most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of a trio of remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft...
Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2016.
ISBN: 9780676979589
Branch Call Number: MCK
Characteristics: 511 pages


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RomanceAddict Sep 13, 2019

Review excerpt: "The narration by Julia Whelan was excellent. She manages to create distinct voices for the many characters, mostly female, who inhabited this story. Unfortunately the best praise I can give about the book is that it made me want to go back to other books about witches that resonated with me, surprised me, or challenged me more. Beyond that, this novel didn’t do much for me. ...

... McKay, in her author’s notes, wonders at one point what would these witches of the past would think of today’s feminist movement. It’s tough to answer that question because there’s not a single woman of color in this story. There’s no conversation or acknowledgement of slavery or even a real discussion of what specifically the suffragettes were advocating for (and what they were not advocating for). The Witches of New York is a world where there simply are no people of color present besides the mystical presence seemingly guarding the book’s MacGuffin, an ancient Egyptian artifact. How could that for a second truly speak to today’s feminist movement? Or reflect the actual feminist movement at the time?"

Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / June 2019

Jun 23, 2019

This story sort of chugged along but it never got slow enough that I thought to put it down or not finish it. The characters are very well rounded and likeable

Feb 20, 2019

Completely drawn in by the first chapter. Strong female characters who lift one another up. The author's attention to detail in the writing creates a strong vision of place and time.

Jan 14, 2019

I really enjoyed The Birth House and this was a very enjoyable read as well. Lots of strong female characters with bits of real history thrown in.

IndyPL_AnikaW Dec 04, 2018

Difficult-to-put-down historic fiction with a focus on feminism and the occult.

If you liked 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell' and also like women's stories and literary fiction, you'll likely find much to enjoy within this fascinating novel by Indiana-born Ami McKay (who now lives and writes in Canada).

For those who fall in love with the characters, McKay has released a small sequel entitled 'Half Spent Was the Night: A Witches' Yuletide.'

Oct 09, 2018

New genre: science witches!

Sep 04, 2018

I was drawn right into the book from the first few pages, loving the settings and the characters. Then… It just slowed down. I went on vacation with it 2/3 completed...and barely touched it. That’s unusual for me.

TashD Jan 25, 2018

I loved the descriptive writing on the characters and tea shop. The detail and emotions put into this book made me picture being there. Although the book was a little more ghosty than witchy than I expected I still thoroughly enjoyed it, almost as much as The Birth House!

Dec 14, 2017

This was a really good book with strong female characters and made me want to read her earlier books, the character of Moth is fascinating. Can't wait for the next one.

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SPL_Brittany Nov 14, 2016

Beloved and bestselling novelist Ami McKay returns with her most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of three remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft...

Set in New York in the 1880s, the great obelisk, Cleopatra's Needle is slowly making its way through the city. While Egyptomania grips the city, three women, Eleanor, born into witchcraft and taught by her mother; Adelaide Thom ('Moth' from The Virgin Cure) a former sideshow fortune teller who's beginning to understand her true gifts; and Beatrice a young woman seeking her independence, have all experienced the unexplainable. Recognizing that they are stronger together, the three women form a partnership. Their tea shop caters to Manhattan's wealthy society women specializing in cures, palmistry and potions -- while carefully guarding the secrets of their clients. While helping Beatrice expand and understand her gifts, dark forces gather around them and they'll stop at nothing to drive the witches from their midst. Two hundred years after the trials at Salem, in a time when women were committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?

An atmospheric read, McKay creates a wonderful sense of New York City during this era, and brings all of her characters vividly to life in a clever tale of the power of love, friendship and witchery that will delight the minds of readers. An enjoyable read for fans of Paula Brackston. 


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SCL_Leanne Aug 29, 2017

"Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply."

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