When Byrd Whalen returns to her family’s ancestral home to uncover secrets threating to destroy a legacy she holds dear, she gets more than she bargained for. Over the course of one harrowing weekend, the dark haunted histories of the Amore women reveal themselves, leading Byrd to question everything she’s ever believed about herself. In 1890, Nan, the Amore family matriarch, was sent away to America with little more than a baby and a rocking chair, quickly finding work on the sprawling estate of the wildly eccentric Green family. This new life is one she wanted: loving and free with a family that understands and shares in her magic. But when tragedy strikes, destroying the mansion and the precious lives inside, Nan is left alone and pregnant with Reginald Green’s child. With nothing more than the deed to the property, she builds a house from the rubble and a new, pragmatic life. It would become a haunted life that would lead to other haunted lives. It would become a house both terrible and wonderful. It would become known as “The Witch House.” An unforgettable family saga in the Gothic tradition, Suzanne Palmieri’s The Witch House of Persimmon Point is her most powerful novel yet.
Because I’ve been fortunate enough to be included in the 2016 BookSparks Fall Reading Challenge , I’ve received some different styles of books that I know I wouldn’t have otherwise read and in fact, today’s book, The Witch House of Persimmon Point by Suzanne Palmieri is one of those books. Because of the name of this book, I was going to try and have my review up on Halloween night, but that just didn’t happen, so here it is for today, the day following the election which may or may not have been just as scary for some of you.
While the cover of this book looks like it might be for kids or teens, do not let that trick you. Right in the beginning of this book there’s a note by the author that makes it pretty clear this story would be dark, but I guess my rosey colored glasses had no idea how disturbing and dark it could be. The Witch House of Persimmon Point is a family saga with plenty of secrets and a haunted home of ancestors.
I’m used to reading books filled with love and laughter – this was definitely not one of those books. It was dark and sometimes hard to read. The things the women in this story did (and what they had done to them) were things I couldn’t even imagine. Despite that fact, I continued turning the pages because I wanted to know about this family and I wanted to know if their cursed lives would ever end. This is a story of generations of women who made bad choices and their lives and decisions are influenced by their special abilities, as well as the evil in their “witch house”. As their stories unfolded, I felt terrible for each of these women and kept wondering if each generation would be the one to break free from the house’s history.
Like I said before, I’m ordinarily not a fan of this type of book and the cover did lure me, but I won’t lie – I did have issue with trying to keep everyone straight. I felt like there should be a family tree chart in the back cover to help readers. If you are familiar with Ms. Palmieri and her other witch books, I’m betting you know her style and you’ll like this one. Me – I’ll stick to the touchy, feely love stories!
This is Suzanne Palmieri’s story: “I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but life got in the way. At 22, I was a struggling, unwed mother on welfare who moonlighted as a cocktail waitress. My daughter and I collected food stamps and other social entitlements for several years. There never seemed to be enough money, and knowing I had to finish college I hustled to make ends meet. Education, and writing whatever I could, saved me.
“I wrote everywhere: in journals, on napkins, on the inside of matchbook covers. After graduating from college, (walking across the stage with my baby on my hip!), I was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to Fordham; this scholarship allowed me to exit the welfare system for good.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers and BookSparks as part of the Fall Reading Challenge 2016 (#FRC2016) in exchange for this post, which is my honest review and unbiased opinion.