My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was a bit infuriating. Took me almost a month to read - I am not usually a slow reader. But this story was not interesting in the beginning.
This is the story of several generations of witches. Each witch has a book. The first few books were boring and repetitive. Each woman has a very similar experience regarding her awareness of her powers as a witch, followed by her attempts to either win the affections of a man and/or have a child - specifically a daughter to carry on the family line of witches. But I don't know why they felt so compelled to continue the line when they never really used their powers to their benefit. They spent most of their time trying to keep it hidden away, and when it was discovered, it usually resulted in their ruin or death. I found that so frustrating. At one point, near the end of the book, a witch from another family says people have always feared their kind because they didn't need a man. If that's the case, why did they waste all their powers on seducing men who didn't want them? Why didn't they try to use their powers to protect themselves from people who wanted to hurt them or to improve their lives without the need of a man?
The first few parts of the book felt like an intro, a setup for some sort of action, so I kept reading, but then I was noticing I was almost halfway through the book, and still waiting for something to happen. I had to start skimming then because I was spending so much time on this book, and there are so many other books I want to read, but I felt like I'd spent too much time on it to just give up.
I'm glad i stuck with it, I ended up really liking, almost loving the last part of the story. That's Veronica's book. She's the last of her line, her mother died in childbirth and she knows nothing about the family history. I enjoyed reading about how she discovered her powers, and the way she was later about to use them. Hers was the only story that felt developed and had emotion. Her story had heart, romance and family. I thoroughly enjoyed the role she played in helping her country during WWII.
I think this would have been a wonderful book if it had focused on Veronica, and the lives of the women before her had been explained in more of a summary. Maybe have Veronica learn about them as she's learning about her own powers, through research of some sort or from viewing the crystal or the stories of other witches who may have been familiar with her family. The details of their lives were not essential, and almost caused me to give up on this book completely. This is why I felt this book was infuriating. The story, if told differently, could have been great and entertaining. But the format in which it's presented is not enjoyable at all. Those first few books read like a dry textbook, providing information about the women's lives, but not in a way that you care about them. There were touches of what could have been, but weren't.
I don't know that I can recommend this book, except to say, rush through the first parts as quickly as possible to get to the story at the end. The last part of the book is really good. That's why I'm giving this three stars - I think the last part would have been four or five stars, but the first, more like one or two - so I'm compromising with three.
I received a copy of this via NetGalley.
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