The Witches of New York
By: Ami McKay
Beatrice Dunn arrives in New York for the first time and immediately begins seeing ghosts and experiencing strange happenings. Luckily she gets a job at a tea shop run by Eleanor St. Clair and Adelaide Thom, who are more than capable of helping Beatrice, if they can get past their own problems, the accusations of witchcraft, and the strange things happening in New York.
I have to admit this was a strange reading experience because I really enjoyed reading it. But after the fact there were some problems here that really bugged me. That still continue to bug me- where I couldn’t help but think it could have been better.
I liked all three characters. I thought the atmosphere of New York was absolutely wonderful. The haunted hotel, the Cleopatra needle that was being moved toward the city throughout the novel. Especially important and good was how McKay worked the threads of witchcraft with the suffragette movement. You can tell the author is very, very invested in how the witchcraft accusation has been used in history. (There’s actually a bit at the end about an ancestor that was executed during the witchcraft trials.)
I also enjoyed how the ghosts were intertwined with the story.
But it doesn’t really come to anything. There’s the whole thing with religion and an actual demon manipulating people to try to catch witches (and there are some pretty violent scenes in this book) it’s not really wrapped up and I’m not sure if there’s going to be another book in this series. So I was kind of bummed by the ending.
There’s also elements of Adelaide’s past particularly that maybe didn’t need to be here. Her mother is kind of amusing but doesn’t really come to anything.
So it’s a great character and atmospheric story but I was a bit disappointed by the actual plot- where it went and how it ended.
Recommend: 50/50. Know that it’s a more character/history driven novel with interesting elements of women’s rights strewn in. I just wish it had gone full on the plot especially at the end or dug even deeper into the women’s rights issues. It’s one of those books where I have to look at it after the fact and say, “I’m not really sure what it wanted to be.”