The Witches of New YorkeBook - 2016
The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (Moth from The Virgin Cure ) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it's finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and gardien de sorts (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan's high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions--and in guarding the secrets of their clients. All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment.
Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor's apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind? Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches' tug-of-war over what's best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force.
As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they're confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?
From the critics
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Beloved and bestselling novelist Ami McKay returns with her most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of three remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft...
Set in New York in the 1880s, the great obelisk, Cleopatra's Needle is slowly making its way through the city. While Egyptomania grips the city, three women, Eleanor, born into witchcraft and taught by her mother; Adelaide Thom ('Moth' from The Virgin Cure) a former sideshow fortune teller who's beginning to understand her true gifts; and Beatrice a young woman seeking her independence, have all experienced the unexplainable. Recognizing that they are stronger together, the three women form a partnership. Their tea shop caters to Manhattan's wealthy society women specializing in cures, palmistry and potions -- while carefully guarding the secrets of their clients. While helping Beatrice expand and understand her gifts, dark forces gather around them and they'll stop at nothing to drive the witches from their midst. Two hundred years after the trials at Salem, in a time when women were committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?
An atmospheric read, McKay creates a wonderful sense of New York City during this era, and brings all of her characters vividly to life in a clever tale of the power of love, friendship and witchery that will delight the minds of readers. An enjoyable read for fans of Paula Brackston.
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"Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply."
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