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White Is for Witching
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Past Group Reads > White is for Witching - SPOILER thread

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Kirsty (kirkel) | 1160 comments Mod
For all of you eager peeps who just couldn't wait and have finished reading here is your thread.

Feel free to start separate threads and break the book in to sections. I haven't read it yet so I'm not sure of it's structure. If it is a particular subject you want to raise then start a thread titled with the discussion point - if it contains spoilers then title the thread "White is for Witching - Discussion point #1 SPOILERS" changing to the appropriate number.

If anyone who has finished feels like helping out and looking up, and starting threads on, some discussion points then that would be great. You can add your name to the discussion leader - click 'edit' under the book and select your name from the drop down menu.

Let's really try to get some good chat going this month.


message 2: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo | 592 comments Mod
I've not finished this but.... I don't like it :(
I want to like it, I thought I would like it and I like some ideas : the house narrating parts and how it traps people who want to leave or tries to kick out people it doesn't like, the way it opens new rooms etc is brilliantly creepy BUT I still can't really be bothered to read the rest. I think it's the characters - Miri doesn't seem to appeal to me but I can't quite put my finger on why I'm disappointed?


Sophia (pageplucker) | 230 comments Mod
I didn't really know what to think with this one. At times I thought it was brilliant, beautful and haunting and at other times I just found it confusing, annoying and wanted to hurl it across the room!

Good points: beautiful prose, interesting themes (xenophobia, racism), genuinely scary bits.

Bad points: Characters (especially Miri) sometimes irritating, sudden switches in narrator were disconcerting, kept having to re-read passages to work out what was going on.


message 4: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo | 592 comments Mod
I took this to read on the train today and have now finished - I did get more interested as it went through but it got really confusing towards the end and I got quite lost with it all, I'm still not sure what happened!


message 5: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo | 592 comments Mod
If anyone has any idea of whether Agim's stabbing and suicide had anything to do with Miri or the house please enlighten me! It seemed completely unexplained unless I missed something?


Sam (VanillaFountain) | 577 comments Mod
I found a lot of things were unexplained but If anyone wants to know where Miri went read the first few pages again, up to the part where the page starts Luc Defresne.

I didn't think I would enjoy this book the idea of it didn't really interest me but I thought it would be nice to try something different. I did enjoy it but I am left with lots of questions like there was a part where the house was saying who is telling the truth? That really threw me off ugggh I like it but I am annoyed I like a proper ending and explanations. *Googles Soucouyant* hehe


Sam (VanillaFountain) | 577 comments Mod
I do find myself wanting to read it again with a higlighter and marking out the strange bits to try and piece it all together but I don't even know if that would work. I will say she is a very intriguing writer and I'm going to look up the other books she wrote and possibly have a go at those too. Anyone read the Icarus Girl?


Sophia (pageplucker) | 230 comments Mod
I felt exactly the same - as soon as I finished it I wanted to go back and read it again to see if I could wring out a bit more meaning from it. I've heard of he Icarus Girl and wouldn't mind giving it a go too.


Kirsty (kirkel) | 1160 comments Mod
Finished! What was the first and last word on the first and second pages of the paperback? My edition was an uncorrected proof and it was 244 pages which didn't match the ISBN. I'm thinking maybe the print was a bit larger.
I'm going to start a questions thread for this book - we can post the questions that we felt were unanswered and maybe some of them can be solved.
Was torn between a 3 and a 4. I would have liked to give it 3.5. I wish the ratings on here were out of 10 - there seems like such a difference between 3 and 4 and 4 is only 1 off 5 which means it's pretty excellent (am I alone in this thinking?) and this book is not excellent.
I'll go digest and post later.


Sam (VanillaFountain) | 577 comments Mod
I have a hardback but that was 244 pages, in mine page 1 word one was ore: last word was *was* page 2 word 1 was tapping and last word on the page was roof. Don't know if that helps or not? I wanted to give it 3.5 too but I went for the 4 after reading the first couple of pages again and it gave me the creeps a bit haha.


Kirsty (kirkel) | 1160 comments Mod
Sam wrote: "I have a hardback but that was 244 pages, in mine page 1 word one was ore: last word was *was* page 2 word 1 was tapping and last word on the page was roof. Don't know if that helps or not? I wante..."

Thanks Sam, you're a gem *hug* I'll check later but it sounds like it's spaced the same as yours - phew. I'm also going to read the first pages again:)


Sarah  (scheherazade) | 364 comments Mod
I've just finished, and I gave it a four. I was torn between three and four, like some of you, but there was a lot I liked about it, so four it was :)

I particularly loved that the house had a voice -- the section near the end, where it questions who is telling the truth, really made me think about what I'd been reading, and the opinions I'd formed of the characters. I loved the Angela Carter-esque walking mannequin, and the all-season apples, too.

After finishing, I read the first few pages again -- and I liked how the beginning made more sense in light of the ending. When I first started, it felt very disjointed and confusing, but it's definetly more coherent on a second read. I think I particularly appreciated that it linked back to the beginning given the relative lack of resolution at the end, although I'm by no means unsatisfied with the ending. It leaves room for you to add your own interpretation, and that can sometimes be a nice thing.

I studied female gothic as part of my masters, and I though this was a really interesting take on the style. I'm going to tell my tutor about it next time I email her, because I think it would be an excellent addition to that module. The way female body image, Miranda's pica, the effect of the house, and female inheritance and descent are all connected and interconnected is really interesting, as is the hint at vampirism. The failed attempts of men to impinge on something essentially female was interesting from that perspective, too.

It's not a perfect book by any means, but I think it has a lot of depth if you've the patience to find it. It's definetly one of the most interesting and unusual books I've read this year, anyway :)


Sam (VanillaFountain) | 577 comments Mod
Kirsty wrote: "Sam wrote: "I have a hardback but that was 244 pages, in mine page 1 word one was ore: last word was *was* page 2 word 1 was tapping and last word on the page was roof. Don't know if that helps or ..."

Great! :) Let us know what you think after you've read them ;)


Sam (VanillaFountain) | 577 comments Mod
Wow Sarah you have a great way of saying things. I would like to be able to write like you do. You summed it up for me, I just don't know how to put things across if that makes sense?


message 15: by Ness (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ness (Violet74) | 209 comments Mod
I've just finished White is for Witching and would say that I quite enjoyed it (I've given it four stars) ... but like everyone else has mentioned, it's making my head spin trying to make total sense of what happened.

I think I need to read it again and concentrate on every detail.

I did love the prose, it's beautifully written in places and I think I'll seek out other books by Helen Oyeyemi as she is an interesting storyteller. I just wish the loose ends had been tied up more.

I liked reading of the histories of the Silver women and thought it relevant that one nameless female ancestor long before Anna was a soucouyant of sorts, but she fed off her own blood(page 24 of 245 pages).

I liked the folklore in the story, I liked that the characters came from totally different backgrounds and races and as far as supernatural tales go I found parts of the book pretty chilling.

Right, going to have to read bits of chapters back again before I properly put it down tonight :)


Sarah  (scheherazade) | 364 comments Mod
Ness wrote: "I've just finished White is for Witching and would say that I quite enjoyed it (I've given it four stars) ... but like everyone else has mentioned, it's making my head spin trying to make total sen..."

The details were one of the things I really loved about it -- but I think they were one of the things that added to my confusion, at least a little, too. I think perhaps it's part of the point (and Oyeyemi's style), but sometimes there were so many details all at once that I found it hard to work out which ones were significant and which ones weren't. Like Emma, and her red tipped cigarettes. I still find myself thinking about the Kentish Maid and the Maid of Kent discussion from time to time, as well. That stuck in my mind for some reason! Still, imo it's a good book that stays with you, and makes you think :)


Kerry Bridges | 121 comments I've just finished it this morning - I loved it. I really like the beautiful way it's written so I'm going to look for some more by her - she's an amazing lady (PS Sarah, I am a Kentish Maid so that is one of my favourite bits of the book LOL)


Kirsty (kirkel) | 1160 comments Mod
I think I enjoyed it more when it got really dark and twisty.


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