Saturday, March 14, 2015

"Witch" by Barbara Michaels (A Short Review)

Published:  1973
Setting:  Modern Day

Book Blurb:
A silent stranger moves in twilight shadows...It was more than her dream house. For Ellen March, buying the secluded old house nestled in the pine woods marked the start of a new life. Now she could put her failed marriage behind her, enjoy the quiet solitude of small town life, and get to know her worldly new neighbor, handsome Norman McKay... But strange visions began to cloud her mind - the shadowy figure of a woman, a ghostly white cat - and Ellen's safe haven slowly became her prison. Had she buried the past? Or had a dark legend come back to haunt her...?

This is a short review because, honestly, this book was a bit misleading.  Published in the early 70's, with wonderfully detailed gothic cover art, and the promise of 'dark terror' and 'mystery.'  But there's really not much of either within the pages of this story!

The book is about a lady (Ellen March) who finds the house of her dreams in the secluded backwoods of a tiny town.  And although there is a little bit of mystery pertaining to the 'witch' whom once lived in the very house she purchased, and of the townspeople who were said to have killed her, the mystery really stops there.  Ellen senses that the house is haunted, a seance is even held.  Yet the book seems to mostly revolve around the backward attitudes of the closed-minded folk of the small town, saving a delinquent, and a slowly-spawning romance between Ellen and her neighbor Norman McKay.

This is not a gothic romance, it doesn't even skim the surface of the type of mystery and terror that a good gothic entails.  I was highly disappointed with the book and nearly bored to tears.  I suppose I was expecting more, as I have read and enjoyed quite a many gothic-type stories from Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters.  But this book has neither suspense or terror.  I do no recommend this book to those who are looking to read a good gothic romance story.  I  had to force myself to read the second half of this story!


My Rating:
2 Stars

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