I loved how the author used multiple generations to tie together the plot and theme. It was heartwarming to see the characters learn and grow from ass...moreI loved how the author used multiple generations to tie together the plot and theme. It was heartwarming to see the characters learn and grow from associations with younger and older family and friends. The broken found new paths toward whole and happy lives. (less)
I loved Lost Lake. Being a fan of magical realism, how the author wove in the subtle bits of magic was lovely. I've read all of her books, and am impr...moreI loved Lost Lake. Being a fan of magical realism, how the author wove in the subtle bits of magic was lovely. I've read all of her books, and am impressed how her writing continuously improves at bringing the reader even closer to her characters.(less)
The Witches of Dark Root was a compelling story about the growth of four sisters that used plenty of delightful, inventive magic to showcase their str...moreThe Witches of Dark Root was a compelling story about the growth of four sisters that used plenty of delightful, inventive magic to showcase their struggles and victories. I thoroughly enjoyed how the author used common problems to build three-dimensional characters. Flashbacks and present day lingering concerns showed how the sisters fought as teenagers for independence from their mother, the revered town witch. The girls desperately wanted to be normal, not young witches in training. As soon as possible, each left Dark Root and all it had meant to them growing up.
Later as adults, the sisters fought again to negotiate their wills to maintain hard-won independence and accept new terms—the dependence of their aging mother and aunt. Personally, I stumbled a bit upon discovering that their elderly mother suffered from dementia, since I helped my own mother through her battle with that illness until she passed a year ago. The author used the issue effectively to illustrate how different personalities coped. Magical talents unique to each sister showcased the cycle of growth each experienced—truly wonderful. That was the real highlight of the book for me. The relationships of the women in the family twisted and turned as they learned to use their magic and to accept their problems of past and present.
The main character, Maggie, fought the most to grow into her own personality and witchcraft strengths. The plot followed her experiences, largely centered along a string of shaky romantic relationships before she developed confidence. And when she did, it was a compelling, quick read to follow her journey. However, the beginning one-third of the book lagged, showcasing Maggie’s weaknesses while she remained too long in a failing romantic relationship. While that development did allow the reader to get to know the character and appreciate her amazing growth later, I think it could have been shortened. When Maggie did finally take steps to leave that bad relationship, she returned to her family she hadn’t seen in seven years—that’s when the magic of this story shines. Maggie swallowed hard and plunged in, healing old wounds, opening a few she’d forgotten, and in the process, found herself. (less)
A couple’s love is put to the test by dark forces trying to tear them apart. Trevor seems helpless to meet his destiny of a hereditary curse, his art...moreA couple’s love is put to the test by dark forces trying to tear them apart. Trevor seems helpless to meet his destiny of a hereditary curse, his art creations becoming an outpouring of consuming madness. Frightened by what is happening to her husband, Cait fights in any way she can, even finding she has ability to struggle against the demons on their own magical playing field. Her witch friends help her unlock powers she never imagined. I really enjoyed growing with Cait as she learns about her own magic and how to use it. Her brace spirit and determination to help her husband is compelling. Wonderfully spooky elements make for an exciting read!(less)