The Gloss is pleased to bring you founder Erin Woodward's favorite novel of the year for December’s official title! Here's what Erin has to say about The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais:
So my choice this year is going to sound a bit strange to some of you (maybe all of you) - as it’s a book about witches - and clearly that’s a bit odd during winter (in the Northern hemisphere) and the holiday season but this book was recommended by one of my dear friends and I was shocked by how wonderful it was and how much I adored it.
Not one for witches (usually) I fell in love with the characters and their challenges. One of our bloggers reviewed it @bruandthebooks and put it quite perfectly: “Think The Golden Girls and Practical Magic.”
I know it’s December’s book, but I also know many of you will find time to read it this fall in October or November, so it felt fitting to announce it super early!
A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.
Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby—one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years—will surely be their salvation.
But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.
The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.
Funny, tender and uplifting, the novel explores the formidable power that can be discovered in aging, found family and unlikely friendships. Marais’ clever prose offers as much laughter as insight, delving deeply into feminism, identity and power dynamics while stirring up intrigue and drama through secrets, lies and sex. Heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.