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The Witch in the Well - Book Review

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt
Published January 26th 2023
Who gets to tell your story if you can't tell it yourself?
Witch in the well, camilla bruce, books about witches, fairy tale, spooky book, 2023

Ilsbeth Clark was young and beautiful when she married a wealthy landowner. When several local children disappeared, suspicion fell on Ilsbeth, the outsider, believed to be a witch, so the townspeople threw her into a well.

Two centuries later, two little girls play near the well. Cathy, bullied and lonely after a car accident that damaged her legs, and Elena, a city girl who stays in a holiday cottage nearby each summer. Once best friends, the girls have a falling out and their lives go in different directions. One day a personal loss brings Elena, now a successful author and influencer, back to the town.

Elena feels drawn to Ilsbeth and wants to write a book about her, believing her to have been a peaceful nature witch whose spirit still inhabits the woods. This enrages Cathy, who has spent years researching and writing a novel about Ilsbeth and how she was falsely accused of witchcraft. Their rivalry escalates, and neither are prepared for a revelation of the truth about Ilsbeth and the well.

The Witch in the Well is a spooky modern fairy tale by Camilla Bruce, the author of You Let Me In. As in You Let Me In, the folklore elements of the story are delightfully strange and dark. However, I didn't like this book quite as much because the back and forth between Cathy and Elena got a bit repetitive after a while. It was still a very quick read though because the wonderfully evocative writing style drew me in.

The Witch in the Well is a good read for lovers of spooky folklore and strange fairy creatures.

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Random House UK, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Published: 23 February 2023
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It sounds quite a haunting tale. I do love the cover art too.
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|6419) 58 days ago
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