Year of the Witching

368 pages

English language

Published Sept. 6, 2020 by Penguin Publishing Group.


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3 stars (3 reviews)

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how …

3 editions

"blood. blight. darkness. slaughter."

4 stars

Ooh, this was good and spooky, perfect reading for New England in January. I wish we'd gotten a more complete view of the witches... at least a little bit. I understand the point was to disentangle the extra-normal entities/forces in the book from their influence on humans vs humans' influence on themselves, though. Anyway, Immanuelle is an excellent protagonist and her relationships with her family and Ezra are well-drawn and compelling. It might have been a teeny bit longer than it needed to be, but overall I enjoyed the book greatly.

avatar for AnneN

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4 stars
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2 stars


  • American literature