The Age of Escapism

“To me, a witch is a woman that is capable of letting her intuition take hold of her actions, that communes with her environment, that isn’t afraid of facing challenges.”

– Paul Coelho

A special thanks to NetGalley and Redhook Publishing for a free digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.


Set in the late 1800’s, independent teen, Annis, is due to marry – and she want nothing to do with it. She comes from a long line of witches, including a mother who uses her powers to try to force Annis into marriage and an aunt who takes her under her magical wing. The Age of Witches is a beautifully written tale of female and family struggles that was a delightful escape to read.

What I liked:
○ Strong female characters!
○ Immersive and direct writing style.
○ Concept – witches, women, magic – what’s not to like?
○ Once the pace picked up, I was hooked.
○ History was well-presented.
○ If there were to be a sequel, I’d definitely read it 🙂

What I didn’t like:
○ Like a lot of reviewers, I found the pacing of the book to be very slow.
○ The dialogue was cheesy and predictable at times.
○ More for fans of historical fiction/romance than magical realism or paranormal fantasy.

Escapism in the Time of COVID-19

“It was a meditation on life, love, old age, death: ideas that had often fluttered around her head like nocturnal birds but dissolved into a trickle of feathers when she tried to catch hold of them.”

Gabriel García Márquez

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like cholera (or coronavirus), Márquez has shown us that lovesickness is a plague of its own. Though I preferred One Hundred Years of Soluitude, Love in the Time of Cholera is a superbly powerful love story. A copy of the book was given to me years ago and the recommendation to finally read it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. It has helped to beguile some of the time I’m stuck indoors and I’m pleased to have spent part of it in Márquez’s world of longing and magic.

There is so much to be said for this classic. For now, a few of my favorite passages:

“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”

“She was a ghost in a strange house that overnight had become immense and solitary and through which she wandered without purpose, asking herself in anguish which of them was deader: the man who had died or the woman he had left behind.”

“She would defend herself, saying that love, no matter what else it might be, was a natural talent. She would say: You are either born knowing how, or you never know.”

“Always remember that the most important thing in a good marriage is not happiness, but stability.”

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