All Lauren McCready wanted was food. A spur-of-the-moment trip to an online grocery store becomes something quite different when Lauren is redirected to the Witches Central chat room, thanks to Nell’s fetching spell. Lauren may be Chicago’s top elite realtor, but she has a hard time believing that she’s also a witch. But the fetching spell isn’t wrong and soon, Lauren’s life is turned upside down. Grappling with a wealth of untapped power and struggling to reconcile the life she knew with the uncertainty of the future, Lauren’s journey will also intersect with the Sullivan family, her best friend Nat, and one special little boy.
While I was deep into the mythologies of magic in a previous novel, I realized I was in the mood to read more novels about witches, witchcraft and magic. So I did what any good reader in the 21st century with Internet access did: I crowdsourced Twitter for some suggestions and made good use of Amazon’s recommendations tool. And that’s how I stumbled across Debora Geary’s Witches Central series and its first book, A Modern Witch. Even with the multiple high reviews on Amazon, I did wonder what I would get – self-published and independently published books vary greatly in their quality. But I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised by A Modern Witch.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this novel was the fact that Geary doesn’t write what you’d expect. Towards the beginning of the novel, Witches Central sends Jamie, a trainer, to meet with Lauren to test her and determine the extent of her powers. A tall, dark, handsome stranger flies halfway across the country to meet a single woman? Conventional romance tropes practically demand that they fall in love at first sight. But that’s not what happens in A Modern Witch and I was pleased to see Geary take her book in twists and turns that I didn’t expect. This novel could have been horribly predictable, and yet every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, I was surprised by something else.
Even with its surprises, A Modern Witch isn’t overly complicated. There isn’t an evil villain to fight and defeat, there aren’t impossible obstacles to overcome or daring feats of danger to complete before finding treasure. At its core, this novel is purely and simply about finding oneself. The biggest source of conflict in the book is Lauren’s own internal struggle to come to terms with this life-changing revelation. As she figures out how to be the person she wasand the person she’s becoming, we readers get a glimpse of her mind and her own doubts, fears and insecurities. Though the magic is a part of Lauren’s story, there’s plenty any young 20-something reader finding her (or his) way in the world can relate to.
Sometimes, we take a leap and, on a whim, try a book without any massive marketing campaign behind it. I decided to give Debora Geary’s A Modern Witch a try and was nicely surprised by what I got in return. A novel for the 21st century, where technology and magic not only rest side-by-side, but in fact help each other out, this was a delightful book to read on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
[Photo Credit: Goodreads[