For the Montrose women, love has been difficult (to say the least) thanks to a decades-old family curse that ensures that any man these women love, dies. The ladies have made their peace with it in one way or another, settling into quiet lives where they only rely on each other. That is, until the youngest Montrose woman, 17-year-old Nickie, falls in love for the first time and the older Montrose women have to tell the newest, cursed member of the family why her budding relationship is doomed to fail…
I like all of the complex family relationships in this book. We have mother-daughter, sister-sister, aunt-niece, grandmother-granddaughter, and a few other dynamic female relationships sharing the spotlight in this book. Each relationship carries secrets and regrets that feel very much like those of a real family. I also like the strong female characters and their determination to do no harm to any other unsuspecting man who may try to love them.
However, I felt like this book spent a lot of time debating whether or not there was a curse. Curses are not exactly something you can prove, so I understand the uncertainty, but the majority of the book was just discussing the existence of the curse and a bit about each woman’s experience with love. I wanted to see more about the Voodoo religion and the spiritual practice of Hoodoo. I also wanted a more satisfying ending. I won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say that it doesn’t end in the way I wanted or expected, so I was a bit disappointed by that.
All in all, Black Candle Women is an interesting story about complex female relationships and how a matriarchal family navigates life with a giant burden on their backs. So, if you enjoy those kinds of stories, this book might be for you.
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