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The Witch of Belladonna Bay

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  695 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
It's the trouble you aren't expecting that gets you. And it's all around you, Bronwyn, it's all around you like the air.…

Bronwyn "BitsyWyn" Whalen hasn't set eyes on the red dirt of Magnolia Creek, Alabama, for fourteen years - not since her mama died. But with her brother, Patrick, imprisoned for the murder of her childhood best friend, and her eccentric father, Jackson,
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Garden Spells by Sarah Addison AllenThe Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison AllenThe Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison AllenPractical Magic by Alice HoffmanThe Witches of Snyder Farms by Lenora Henson
Best Magical Realism: Witchy Fiction
38th out of 120 books — 223 voters
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Books I will read someday
25th out of 62 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

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Diane S ☔
Aug 25, 2014 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
Leaving home when she was seventeen, after her mothers death and a fight with her father, Wynn moves from the sultry south to the north. She has a relationship with Ben, who hopes to marry her, but she is called back home when a young niece that she has never met, needs her. The younger brother she left behind is now in prison for killing Wynn's best friend of her youth and possibly for the death of her young son.

It was very easy to be drawn into this story, the characters and the descriptions w
Now with a review!
Original thoughts:
I cannot wait for this to come out in real-time. I need to read the end product before I give any stars because I need to see how it really looks on paper before I give my final thoughts. I can tell you, though, it will be 4 or 5 stars.

At this point, I can recommend this story to those who love Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, readers who liked the ambience of The Secret Life of Bees even though this is nothing like that, really, except f
Carmen Blankenship
I am now officially a HUGE fan of Suzanne Palmieri. I read The Witch of Little Italy and was so intrigued and pleased that I had to get Belladonna Bay right after I was done. This book to me, far exceeds The Witch of Little Italy..

I, like many, adore books set in the South. I live in Oregon and have never set foot in the South. Thanks to Dorthea Benton Frank, Anne Rivers Siddons, Pat Conroy, and Mary Alice Monroe I am so enchanted by the Souths' love of their land, their customs, and their past
Sonja Arlow
Bronwyn is called home to take care of her niece Byrd while getting to the bottom of the murder her brother is accused of. Along the way she needs to deal with all the reasons why she ran away from home at 17 while at the same time try keeping her family together.

The story is told in first person from the main characters Bronwyn, her niece Bryd and her dead mother Naomi.

Most of the characters were well described and relatable but I had a little bit of a problem with Byrd.

Now she is the quintess
May 30, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Another magical masterpiece by Suzanne Palmieri...I am a huge fan of all of Suzanne's books. Loved, loved, loved the Witch of Little Italy. And if I didn't know any better, I'd say Suzanne was following me around. Because I lived in NY, and while I can't prove it was an Amore sister, I did go to have my cards read a few times by a little old Italian lady in a smock who got up from the cards once or twice to go stir the vat of sauce in the kitchen. And having transplanted to Florida, and just fin ...more
Kayla at MyBookMuse
Jan 01, 2015 Kayla at MyBookMuse rated it really liked it

"I was Southern Belle mixed with rattlesnake. My venom hurt people."

Bronwyn "BitsyWyn" Whalen is a layered character who is pretty normal considering the dysfunction she found herself growing up around. Not only was the relationship with her parents a source of heartache and contempt but growing up with "shine" in her blood didn't make things any easier. When she goes back to her hometown after 14 long years away, Brownwyn is forced to confront her past in order to not only save her brother

Mar 03, 2014 Casey rated it it was amazing
Fans of Suzanne Palmieri will not be disappointed with her forthcoming novel. The lovely, magical feel to her writing is still front and center in The Witch of Belladonna Bay, and Palmieri brings us on a new journey of discovery and learning to love oneself - this time with a bit of mystery.

This is the third novel from Suzanne Palmieri, the second published under her name, and each story gets better and better.
Jennifer Gallagher
Dec 31, 2014 Jennifer Gallagher rated it it was amazing
Of I could give this book six stars, I would. It's an absolutely beautiful literary work and it's one if those amazing books that sticks with you. I learned something from this book. Something about love, something about family, something about loyalty, and something about trust. The different perspectives are Ms. Palmieri's hallmark, and she does it with such grace and ease. I loved this book. Simply and truly.
Stacy Sties
May 27, 2014 Stacy Sties rated it really liked it
This is another beautifully written book by Suzanne Palmieri. She does a wonderful job of unfolding the story is such a way that you are surprised and touched all at the same time. Many times during the story we are just as confused by what is going on as Wyn is but in a way that makes of feel for Wyn's guilt for being away for so long. All of the characters have pasts that they need to come to terms with, some more then others and who to trust and who to love is all part of the mystery. This is ...more
Apr 08, 2014 Chi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
*GoodReads Giveaway*
Thanks for giving me an opportunity to read such amazing books. So I was very happy with this book that I needed to write my review in Tagalog, here it goes....Madami na ako nabasa lalo na about people with strange ways pero this one is different hindi puro magic but also talked about relationship with family hindi puro imbento. Siguro ung iba hindi naniniwala sa hula pero sabi nga nila you have to believe for it to work.I was lucky to be given an Arc copy and I really love i
Kathleen Smith
May 02, 2014 Kathleen Smith rated it it was amazing
I just stumbled across Suzanne Palmieri from another authors posting on Facebook and have now read all 3 of her books: I'll be Seeing You, The Witch of Little Italy. She is fantastic. Her stories are rich and painted with wonderful colors that make them come alive. I feel like I felt when I was a child and listened to the radio....Visualization is so important when you read, and very few authors accomplish this..... I want to have dinner on the porch of the Big House, sleep in the play house tha ...more
Jun 02, 2014 Casey rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful book.. I never wanted it to end. I would have been content just hearing about the rest of their lives.. It broke my heart at times but yet made me happy all over again.. I was impressed by Suzanne's writing abilities and I cannot wait to get my hands on her other novels.

'It seems to me, that whatever a person does, they should have a second chance in happiness and redemption. As long as they remember it ain't about other people. It's about forgiving yourself from the inside out
May 19, 2014 Kdorman rated it liked it
What could be better for summer than a wtichy tale of mystery and romance set between the beautiful beaches of Alabama and the mystic coasts of the north eastern waters.

Though lighter than what I am normally inclined to read and with some things that make it good, rather than great, what caries the story is that Plmieri draws you into the characters and the mystery of the story.

Magic and ghosts are a very real part of this book, but so is the importance of finding and being true to one's self, t
Karen Germain
May 23, 2014 Karen Germain rated it really liked it
If it had not been for my participating in the BookSparks 2014 Summer Reading Challenge, I would not have likely encountered Suzanne Palmieri's The Witch of Belladonna Bay. I don't typically gravitate towards mysteries or stories with supernatural elements and Palmieri's story has both, with a heavy dose of family drama thrown in for good measure.

The story follows Bronwyn, a photographer living in New York, who has been called home to Alabama to take care of her eleven year old niece, Byrd, afte
Andrea Murray
Jun 05, 2014 Andrea Murray rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
This is one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve read in a long time. Very quickly, I fell in love with the setting and the characters. I’m from the South, and it’s so refreshing to see a novel that portrays that environment in a positive light. The Faulkneresque aphorisms and slow-moving style were absolutely captivating. Seeing the power in nature and the connection to the land is a huge part of the novel, and anyone who’s
Jun 27, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I neared the end of the book, I found myself with a satisfied feeling, thinking "this is my kind of book." The characters are so well drawn, so detailed, without being over-wrought. The magic is perfect and the essence of living in the south is, well, also perfect. The turns of phrase, the ease and acceptance of the people all echoed my own experience perfectly. This book is a treasure.
May 13, 2014 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Suzanne Palmieri has done it again in her second book of The Lost Witch Series! A spellbinding tale set in the backdrop of the romantic (and hauntingly mystical) south, full of quirky and kooky characters--You will simply fall in love with little Byrd Whalen. A poignant tale which will have you giggling, squirming, and tearing up in ALL the right spots!!!!
Julie Valerie
Jun 18, 2014 Julie Valerie rated it it was amazing
Oh, my gosh, stunning. The writing had a mystical quality to it, haunting at times, dreamlike and with a subtle tension held throughout the telling of the tale. THE WITCH OF BELLADONNA BAY is a story of love, forgiveness, fear, and redemption; a story of things “obtuse” and things long-buried; a story about coming home to face your past.

At the center of the story are two characters, both with varying degrees of mystical powers called “shine.” Bronwyn “BitsyWyn” Whalen, and a little girl named By
Jun 16, 2014 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve always been that type of person who believes that there is something more out there. By that I mean I never doubt the unknown. Sometimes there are things that can’t be explained and just are. This is why I really enjoyed The Witch of Belladonna Bay; it has love, family, mysteries and magic. Yes I said magic and by that it’s really just that whole aura of something else out there, however it’s not that spooky kind of scary but more mysterious.
It’s the story of Bronwyn and her return to her h
Jun 10, 2014 Simone rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2014
I. received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Bronwyn Whalen left home at the age of 17, after her mother passed away. She'd stayed away until she received a phone call from her father after 14 years. Her little brother was in a world of trouble, accused of murdering Wyn's best friend Lottie, and her son Jaime. Why returns home determined to prove her brother's innocence and take care of niece she's never met. Unfortunately,, in order to accomplish this, she needs to com
Charlotte Lynn
Jun 28, 2014 Charlotte Lynn rated it really liked it
This is not a romance book, there is romance in the book but I would not call this romance. This is a story of magic and mystery. The mystery of who killed Charlotte is the main plot. There were a lot of twists and until almost the very end I did not have any idea who the killer was. I had many ideas, went through most of the characters, but never came up with who really did it until the very end.

I loved the characters and the special magic they all seemed to have. Byrd was of course my favorit
Apr 14, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it
I won this book through Good Reads. I loved this book! It's full of spirits and people who can talk to spirits, of magic and murder but also love and forgiveness. I plan on reading Suzanne Palmieri's earlier books because of this book!
May 18, 2014 Beth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-fiction
I absolutely loved this book! I knew I would. I loved The Witch of Little Italy. In this novel, Palmieri writes even closer to my heart- in the south. Bronwyn left Alabama at age 16, the night of her mother's funeral. Daughter of a wealthy, privileged family plagued with addiction (her father to alcohol, her mother to opium), Bronwyn runs away from her life and the only people she has ever known and loved. She is also running away from a supernatural heritage- the women in her family are all wit ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Heidi rated it really liked it
Four stars: A beautifully written, magical story that reminds us we are all flawed, and no matter how far you run, your roots will find you.

Wyn has spent the last fourteen years running far away from the South and from the pain of her life. After Wyn's mother died, she was constantly on the move, until she found Ben. For the past seven years, Wyn has lived comfortably and at peace in the North. She hasn't seen or spoken to her family since the night she left, even though her father sends her mon
May 22, 2014 Iris rated it it was amazing
Tonight, I finished the book. I try to be brutally honest in my reviews because I do not want someone else to tell me what a great book they read and find it to be a disaster.

The Witch of Belladonna Bay is nowhere near a disaster. There are intricate plots at play from the past and present but it never jumps around where you do not know where you are. I really did try to read it slowly but I couldn't. I had to know what happened to the characters that I had an invested interest in. I had sat up
Beth Knipper
Mar 22, 2014 Beth Knipper rated it really liked it
*I received this book from a Goodreads' Firstreads giveaway. Thoughts are my own.*

This was a quick read, and I honestly couldn't put it down when I started reading it. I was sucked in to the tale of Brownwyn, who has escaped her Southern roots and magic for a calm farm in New York. She returns to her family home in Southern Alabama to try to help her brother, who is sitting in jail accused of murder. Wyn slowly embraces her roots and finds answers to secrets that have been eating away at her for
Jun 17, 2014 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Wow. I started this book and wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it. Small southern town full of small town characters doing small town things....we've read that before. This book is NOT those books. With the inclusion of magic and characters who just beg for your love and a mystery that keeps you guessing until the very last page, this book is amazing. I couldn't stop reading! I had to know who did it and what what happened.
Ampersand Canada's Book & Gift Agency Inc
I had read the previous book by this author last month and really liked it. I liked the new book even more. Coming from a dysfunctional family (who doesn't really?) I enjoyed the fractured dynamics of this Southern family and the burgeoning relationship between a damaged young woman and the niece she is coming to know. I also have to admit that I have a bit of a bias about the southern USA so that part of the story drew me in too. If you have a rainy day and just want a nice satisfying read, pic ...more
May 15, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Let me praise Suzanne's writing, it felt effortless the way she wrote this book. It made me fall in love with her writing way before I fell in love with the characters. Which is what I'm about to talk about next. Byrd, my sweet Byrd. She felt like such a child throughout the book, but in the beginning she wasn't. So it helped soften up a bit about her. Anybody that reads this book will definitely fall in love with her and of course her
Jun 15, 2014 vvb rated it it was amazing
One of those gem of a books with lots of poignant and heartfelt statements and ponderings sprinkled throughout.

This story definitely had a magical feel to it with paranormal incidents and doings.

Loved how the characters loved each other - especially between the main characters Wyn and Byrd which was of the mother-daughter sort.

Really got a sense of the small town and its colorful array of townsfolk in regards to its relationship with Byrd.
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Suzanne Palmieri is the author of The Witch of Bourbon Street, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, and The Witch of Little Italy. She is also the co-author (as Suzanne Hayes) of Empire Girls and I'll Be Seeing You. Writer. Lost Witch. Mermaid.

More about Suzanne Palmieri...

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“You really are a chameleon, aren't you? Fitting in wherever you go.

"Aren't we all?" she said...”
“Mermaids don't drown.” 9 likes
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