Author: Jessica Spotswood
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: ARC compliments of Putnam Publishing
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.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.
Witches have really grown on me and they have become some of my favorite stories in YA right now. As a history major in undergrad, I was always fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials and I would have taken that class in an instant if it had been offered. But sadly it was not and it was just a subject I dabbled in on my free time.
I loved the history of this story and that it is set in the past. It is set in a little town where at any indication that someone may be a witch, their sent off to an institution or hanged! In this world that Spotswood created, the witches used to be in charge and they openly practiced their magic. But they were overthrown by the Brotherhood who now impose their religious beliefs on the townspeople and rule with a strict hand. And all the witches are female.
The subplots were reall great as well! We have the whole story with Cate and her decision of whether or not she is going to marry or join the sisterhood. I'm kept on the edge of my seat just hoping that her or her sisters are not going to get caught doing magic. And then there's the whole intermingling of the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood and their roles in the community and the impact they have on the sister's lives. Then when Cate finds her mom's diary, so much more is revealed and the story just comes together with what is really going on and what could possibly go down in the next books!
Cate is such a great character. She is strong, protective of her family and is determined to help raise her sisters as her mother would have wanted. Finn, one of her possible love interests, is so cute and awkward but he is willing to accept her for who she is. Maura was one of my least favorite characters only because she was so annoying. There were times when I wanted to just slap her! But then after finding out about the prophesy, it seems like things played out they way they were supposed to.
I really loved this book! There are very few books that keep me up into the wee hours of the early morning because I just have to finish it and this one definitely did that to me! I was crying, it left on a cliffhanger and I just have to know what happens next and this first book hasn’t even been released yet! A great debut from a fantastic writer!