The Witches of Moonshyne Manor Published by Harlequin Enterprises ULC on August 23, 2022
Source: Blog Tour
Genres: FICTION / Magical Realism, Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / Witches, Fiction / Women
Find the Author: Website, Goodreads, Amazon
"Bianca Marais is a genius" -- Ann Patchett, #1 New York Times bestselling author
A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.
Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they've fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there's hope, since the imminent return of Ruby--one of the sisterhood who's been gone for thirty-three years--will surely be their salvation.
But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they've ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby's homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.
The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.
Funny, tender and uplifting, the novel explores the formidable power that can be discovered in aging, found family and unlikely friendships. Marais' clever prose offers as much laughter as insight, delving deeply into feminism, identity and power dynamics while stirring up intrigue and drama through secrets, lies and sex. Heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.
Witches of Moonshyne manor is a fun witchy romp with significant representation of characters of all ages. A cast of characters centers around a group of senior witches, one who is about to be released from jail and hopefully will be able to save the manor. All does not go as planned, as in the case of many seniors, memory loss and confusion have befallen the inmate Ruby, a quirky witch whose magic likes to switch between genders. I thought this was a unique way to introduce this character which leads some to hilarious antics as the story goes between the night before she was arrested and present times.
The recipes for each spell discussed in the book are sprinkled throughout the story, which I found more distracting than helpful and would prefer they be at the end of the book. The witches are in a real struggle to save their home and make some severe stumbles as they try to navigate the best way to keep the manor, but in the end, they find their way.