I have often thought that writing is a magic of its own kind, especially when an author crafts a story that immediately enchants. The Witches of Cambridge is a contemporary story that touches on themes of family, friendship, love, and passion. The characters are bound together first by magic but, ultimately, by love.
There’s so much to like about this story and, with such a vividly diverse cast of characters, there is a lot that readers can easily relate to. Amandine fears her blissful marriage is being threatened by another woman, even while she hides a huge part of herself from her husband. Noa is so desperate for acceptance and love, that she opens herself up to the most dangerous of people, trading pieces of her unique self in exchange for surface passion and weak fulfillment. Cosima has dreamed of being a mother since she was a child herself. But both she and her sister, Kat, have a medical condition that puts that dream in jeopardy. She has given her heart to an unworthy love, and takes drastic action when everything seems to fall apart. Meanwhile, Kat has been hiding her feelings for her best friend, George, who is hiding something equally as important. And, behind closed doors, Heloise struggles to find the magic and meaning in every day after the death of her husband, for which she blames herself.
The Witches of Cambridge is written with such heart. The love and joy, sadness, heartache, and fear are palpable and real. I’m such a fan of this author – everything she writes sweeps me into the world she creates, and that’s the best part of reading. I can imagine each character in the environments of the story – Amandine and Kat in their professional offices or classrooms, and Cosi in her kitchen, especially. Like The Dress Shop of Dreams before it, The Witches of Cambridge quickly became a treasured favorite.
I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generosity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
About the Author
Menna van Praag was born in Cambridge, England and studied Modern History at Oxford University. Her first novella – an autobiographical tale about a waitress who aspires to be a writer – Men, Money & Chocolate has been translated into 26 languages. Her first work of literary fiction, The House at the End of Hope Street, was inspired by an idea the author had to set up a house for female artists to give them a year to fulfil their artistic ambitions. Her next novel, The Dress Shop of Dreams, is set on the magical street of All Saints Passage where a scientist falls in love with a mysterious man who has a magical voice. All Menna van Praag’s novels, excepting Happier Than She’s Ever Been, are set among the colleges, cafes and bookshops of Cambridge, England.