Released: February 7, 2012
Pages: 326 (hardcover)
Interest: witches, and debut author
Rating: *** 3 stars
Summary (from Goodreads.com)
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship, or an early grave.
Enter a world like turn of the century New England society. I think it's supposed to be set closer to the 1990s, but the cultural aspects and lack of technology put it back a century. New England used to be run by witches, then their temples were burned, the witches were rooted out and likewise burned, and the Brotherhood came into power. Everything is limited, everyone is watched, and the Brotherhood pretty much tells girls how wicked they are for being female. They also preach against education, independence, and lesbianism, and since their other teachings are so far fetched it felt like I was supposed to encourage homosexuality now and was bad and evil like the Brotherhood if I didn't.
So, we have a domineering Brotherhood going on witch hunts, and three sisters who happen to be witches. The Cahill girls lost their mother and since then Cate has been trying her hardest to keep her promise to protect her sisters. There's a suspicious new governess, a nosy neighbor, the boy next door ready to marry Cate, and of course the gardener that Cate just can't stop thinking about.
Jessica Spotswood built an interesting world, I liked the premise, and there were some good twists and turns. There’s also a lot more to learn about this series.
If you took out the girl on girl kissing, I would have liked it more. For me at least, I'd want it from the library, but not to own.