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The Witches of Cambridge

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,723 ratings  ·  313 reviews
For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Witches of Cambridge reveals an astonishing world where the heart's deepest secrets give way to the magic of life-changing love.

"Be careful what you wish for. If you're a witch, you might just get it."

Amandine Bisset has always had the power to feel the emotions of those around her. It's a secret
Paperback, 306 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  1,723 ratings  ·  313 reviews

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Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. I really enjoyed it. This book is filled with magic, romance and a few recipes at the end. I liked all the witches and their different stories. I wish I could participate in the witches book club, very entertaining.
I would recommend this book to fans of Sarah Addison Allen, it reminded me of her books.

The only thing missing was the recipe for those pistachio cream croissants!

Thank you good reads for a free copy of this book.

Ova - Excuse My Reading
A sweet book, full of witty characters, Cambridge, and romance. I don't read a lot of romance but my love of Cambridge pulled me in with this one.
Feb 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only gave this book half a star, however, Goodreads does not allow for half stars so I rounded this up to one star.

This is my third book by Menna Van Praag and I can honestly say that I 100 percent doubt that I will read any of her books in the future. As much as I loved The Dress Shop of Dreams, I disliked The Witches of Cambridge. I kept wondering if I had made a mistake and she really didn't write this book, but nope, same author wrote both books.

If you want to read a book with an ever
The Lit Bitch
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Menna van Praag’s writing for some time now! I’ve read all of her books and they always get me in the mood for spring reading.

Van Praag’s novels are always full of whimsical magic, romance, and interesting women characters.

In her other novels, van Praag’s use of magic is always kind of subtle which to me is kind of her ‘trademark’….so I was interested to see if she incorporated magic more boldly in a novel so clearly about witches. While the magical realism elements were
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If u like quirky then you will love this book!! Xx
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Witches of Cambridge was a delightful read! 4.5 stars rounded up

I wasn't sure what to expect with "witches" in the title and knowing Menna van Praag used magic in her other books. I really like the use of subtle magic in books for everyday life, if written well. If not, it doesn't feel right, too forced or something. Witches in books can be good or not so good depending on the writing etc. It was absolutely written well in Witches of Cambridge! I was hooked and in love within the first few
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting story about a group of friends that meet at a monthly book club where they practice magic. Each of them have different powers. One has the ability to see the future, one sees the secrets everyone keeps, but its the one that registers the feelings of everyone around her that can’t figure out what happened to her husband’s love.
This story is about love in so many different forms. Friends, children, spouses and lovers.
Karen Mace
Normally I fall in love with a book at the mere mention of Witches and Magic...... this one unfortunately hasn't cast a spell on me!

It's an interesting set up with a group of witches who all have different abilities, and the story follows their various trials and tribulations as they face all that life can throw at them - from trust issues, desire to have children, love and loss - and the decisions they make as to whether to use magic to help themselves along the way.

For some reason, I just felt
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I started reading this book it reminded me of another story, in writing style, not content. So I paused and researched the author which I normally do after I finish the book, and yup I had read another book from MVP and loved it. The premise of something otherworldly or mystical is also in this book, but it is found in the form of witches. We have good magic and less kind magic on display in this story. I enjoyed how the different witches found each other and how they all had a different ...more
I was was excited when this book was chosen for KUYH's April read as I love books about witches and Cambridge is one of my favourite cities to visit but that excitement was soon extinguished.
I actually didn't dislike the book. I thought the characters were great and their powers were intriguing. For me there was too much going on. There were so many subplots the whole book felt too wishy washy. I would lose track of what was happening to each character and I wanted to read more about each one.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it

The Witches of Cambridge is a light weight book about women with special powers. There were too many characters and too many story lines. I found Heloise's story to be interesting and realistic. Amandine's story of her husband's secret appeared to be resolved too quickly. All the other stories and characters, especially the one about Noa and Santiago were underdeveloped, swiftly resolved and appeared to me to be fillers.
Overall this book was a fast read but not memorable.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
The Witches of Cambridge spins a magical tale about a group of witches that includes "empath" Amandine, her "psychic" mother, Heloise, "Tourette syndrome" Noa who never has an honest observation about someone without saying it out loud, "master spellcaster" Kat, and only slightly magical George. As we all know, magical spells cast in the name of love always go awry, and this story is no different. Will they be able to right their wrongs? Or, will their meddling ruin the lives of those they love? ...more
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Gazing at the jumble of colours and words, she runs her finger along some of the spines and feels herself starting to breathe more easily. What is it, Héloïse wonders, about the comfort of books? Just by touching the printed words she already feels sparks of excited curiosity begin to wake up her brain.”

I usually prefer to start writing the review as soon as I finish the book. I give myself some time, of course, time that is mostly spent staring at the back cover in awe. How did this happen?
Rhiannon Johnson
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read my full review here:

As soon as I read this description I wondered if a book more perfectly suited to me could be written. I love magic realism, witches, and food. Spells + baking = a happy, relaxing read for me. The Witches of Cambridge combined all three loves deliciously.
Carolyn F.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I ordered this book from the library before I read the reviews and then when I started reading it I noticed all of the people saying they were disappointed with the book. Well I thought it was a sweet book. I thought the romances although convoluted were fine, slow but fine. Which is actually how I would describe this book slow but fine. 3-1/2 out of 5 stars.
Angela Holtz
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
From Lilac Wolf and Stuff

I was so excited to read this book. I kept putting it off, because then I'd be out of Menna's books again. She hooked me with The Dress Shop of Dreams.

It was really so good. There really are witches, so the magic isn't quite as subtle in this one. All the witches know they are witches. They are the Witches of Cambridge because they meet once a month and are either professors or students of one of the colleges. I loved how quickly they came together to support one
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2016
4.5 *s. I read my first book, "The Dress Shop of Dreams", by Menna van Praag last year and absolutely loved it. The "Witches of Cambridge" did not disappoint. Both books have magic, romance, great characters, and superb storytelling. In this book, there are 6 witches, each with his/her own type of magic. There are 5 separate story lines all intertwined into a lovely tale of friendship, family, love lost and love gained. I am looking forward to going back and reading van Praag's "The House at the ...more
Anne Monteith
I read this novel in a little under four hours; it was a very quick because the characters were so superficial that I could just read without absorbing anything because I really didn’t care what happened to them. Days later, I am having a hard time writing a review that doesn’t contain major spoilers and it’s taking me longer to write it than it took me to read the novel.

I have lost a spouse and a child so I understand the deep, profound long term grief that Heloise experienced and I know how
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was really excited when I got it because I had been wanting to read this. And it did not disappoint!

I read The Dress Shop of Dreams by the same author, and I enjoyed the book, so I had high hopes for this book. I just read over my review of that book and I realize that I have many of the same opinions about both books. I guess the author's writing and my opinions are consistent.

At first, I didn't think I was enjoying the book. I didn't see
I enjoyed The Dress Shop of Dreams. It was sweet, whimsical and just different enough from what I typically read that it was a change of pace that was quite pleasant. So, I didn’t need to think too hard about reading The Witches of Cambridge and it was just as sweet, whimsical and well written, but it didn’t have the same lure to fully capture my interest.

It’s difficult to pinpoint why I couldn’t get lost in the story and had no issue with setting it aside for moments at a time because it really
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As far a witches go this was a pretty great read. Not alot of hocus pocus but a relatabe story about relatabe people with relatabe problems. Take Noa who cannot blurt out the truth about other people's lives, Cosi who bakes her magic into her food to get the one thing she wants more than any other, her sister Kat, who just wants her best friend George to love her. Amandine can sense other people's emotions and she know her husband is hiding something from her and she is afraid to confront him ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Gosh, so mixed feelings. Overall, this could have been quite an interesting book. Somewhere hidden in all the muck and mire was a plot/specific story line. What I found was more of muddying of the characters and several different subplots that were meshed together to come up with this one book. It has good bones, just needs to be filtered and organized so the reader can better understand the true personality of at least one or two of the characters and their story. The title is a bit deceiving ...more
Beth Bonini
This is a lightweight romance with a dash of magic, a soupcon of menace, and some nice, cosy bits about books and food. The cast of characters are all witches (with varying gifts) and academics at Cambridge. They like to conduct their book club hovering above the delicate spires - and their romantic lives eating pistachio cream croissants at Cosima's Italian cafe. There isn't enough character development, and the resolutions are all too rushed, but it's not entirely without charm. I might try ...more
Talk Supe
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
the comparison to SAAllen is on point. This novel is women's lit first, magic realism next. It talks about mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and friends. of dreams, nightmares, heartache, books, and food. Of love and life. Each women has her own story to tell and its accessible and relatable. Lovely novel, will read more from this author for sure.
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
As an empath myself, I was drawn to this book when I read that it was about a woman who could feel others' emotions.

Amandine Bisset does not share this secret with everyone of course. She attends the meetings of the Cambridge University Society of Literature and Witchcraft, and I admit, that would be a meeting I'd love to attend also! There, everyone knows her secret, as she is surrounded by collegues (professors) who are all witches.

It is at these meetings that Amandine realizes the emotions
Jani Brooks
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it

Cambridge, England – Present Day

There are six witches in Cambridge and each has his or her own unique magic. Several of them meet in a turret at one of the colleges to discuss books. But changes are coming, and each has to face reality sooner or later.

Amandine wishes that her magical power could explain why her husband has suddenly become distant to her and their twin sons. She suspects he’s having an affair, although Amandine struggles to actually
Andrea Stoeckel
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
[ I received this book free from the publisherthrough NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising]

“I know,” Cosima says , softly. “But life isn’t like a perfectly balanced equation, Kat. It’s messy and muddled and you
The book focuses on a group of witches Cosima, Kat, Amandine, Heloise, Noa, and George. Cosima owns a cafe where she makes wonderful baked goods. She desperately wants to have a baby and multiple things threaten her dream. Kat is Cosima's sister and she is a mathematics professor and has been in love with George for YEARS without ever telling him. Amandine is an art history professor and the mother of young twin boys. Lately she feels her husband pulling away from her and has serious suspicions ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
1.5 stars, but for some unknown reason I was feeling generous. I've liked all of MvP's other books, but this one did not work for me.

Look, MvP can write. There is something flitting through the sentences. The characters are very human. The emotions are there.

But I didn't like this. It took me longer than it should have to figure out why. When I finally did, it was blindingly obvious:
1. There are serious consent issues that were never addressed (in one case they were, but not in another, because
Lolly K Dandeneau
Nov 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Each character in this story takes a starring role, from a grieving widow to a pair of sisters, students. etc. The witchery isn't overly heavy and while it is light-hearted there are a few sad turns taken. The gift or curse of witchcraft is different for each, one student finds herself a sort of truth teller which I found to be the most interesting of the bunch. The only problem I had was because we are focused on several stories, things rushed by when I wanted more time spent on each person. ...more
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Menna van Praag was born in Cambridge, England and studied Modern History at Oxford University. Her first novella - an autobiographical tale about a waitress who aspires to be a writer - Men, Money & Chocolate has been translated into 26 languages. Her magical realism novels are all set among the colleges, cafes and bookshops of Cambridge. The House at the End of Hope Street (2014), The Dress ...more
“Too much analysis kills a thing. Art is created from passion and inspires passion. And passion is beyond reason. Don’t you think?” 1 likes
“Try this," Cosima says, handing him a sliver of lemon-pistachio cake. "While you wait."
George's eyes widen as he takes it. "Looks delicious." He gobbles it down in one gulp. "Incredible."
Cosima laughs. "You barely tasted it."
"I have highly sophisticated taste buds," George explains. "They only need a passing lick of something in order to fully appreciate the delicate subtleties of its flavors."
"Oh, really?" Cosima smiles. "Okay then, try this and tell me what's in it." She hands him a slice of wild mushroom and grape tomato bruschetta. "Every single ingredient."
"All right then," George says, as he begins to chew. "You're on." He swallows. "Okay, in addition to the obvious: basil, garlic, olive oil, black pepper, salt... a splash of lemon juice and a dash of rosemary."
Cosima studies him with a raised eyebrow and a curious smile. "That's very impressive. Anything else?"
"Nope." George shakes his head. "That's what my extremely sophisticated taste buds are telling me.”
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