This month I am recommending two very different novels that share common themes about families of the heart, coming of age, and magic.
The Only Purple House in Town by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Ann Aguirre, is a delightful contemporary novel about Iris Collins, a young woman who never measures up to her family’s expectations. When she unexpectedly inherits a house from her great-aunt, Iris is determined to not add another failure to her life’s résumé. But when her plan to turn the house into a Bed and Breakfast goes awry, Iris switches to renting rooms instead to the displaced, the lonely, and the not wholly human.
A fortuitous misunderstanding leads Eli Reese to become one such boarder. Although wealthy and not in need of a rented room, he signs on in order to get closer to Iris, his childhood crush. Eli never forgot a fleeting act of kindness Iris bestowed upon him when they both attended Ridgecrest Elementary. Iris, who was two grades ahead of Eli, doesn’t recognize him. He promises himself he will tell her the truth, but the time never seems right, and the longer he waits, the more his lies of omission mount.
Meanwhile, witches have recently come out of the shadows and been recognized by the government. Iris is the only one in her family who wonders what other paranormal communities may exist, hidden in plain sight. A nasty neighbor doesn’t want any of thatsort living next to her, and if she discovers the truth about the purple house denizens, she will make sure Iris fails yet again.
Sparkling inner dialogue, an inventive take on witches, and endearing characters make The Only Purple House In Town a magical read that will keep you smiling long after you finish the book.
The Weaver and the Witch Queen by national bestselling author Genevieve Gornichec, is an epic tale of three girls in 10thcentury Norway. Gunnhild’s family has wealth and prestige, but she is desperate to escape her cruel mother. Her dearest friends, sisters Oddney and Signy, are impoverished farm girls, who Gunnhild only sees during gatherings.
After a visiting seeress’s prophecy casts a shadow over the girls’ future, the three take a blood oath to always be there for each other even of they don’t walk the same path. Their paths soon diverge in terrible and epic ways, plunging the reader into a sweeping tale of queens, kings, witches, sisterhood, and the search for personal sovereignty.
Rich historical details, compelling characters, and a well-researched and beautifully written system of magic drew me into this wonderfully woven saga. The tribulations, choices, and fates of Oddney, Gunnhild, and Signy stayed with me long after I finished The Weaver and the Witch Queen.
I look forward to reading more novels by both authors.
If you love epic Viking Tales, consider The Viking Mist by Ariella Moon
Happy reading and Blessed Samhain,