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Book: “The Book of Gothel” by Mary McMyne
Publishing Info: Redhook, July 2022
Book Description: Haelewise has always lived under the shadow of her mother, Hedda—a woman who will do anything to keep her daughter protected. For with her strange black eyes and even stranger fainting spells, Haelewise is shunned by her medieval village, and her only solace lies in the stories her mother tells of child-stealing witches, of princes in wolf-skins, of an ancient tower cloaked in mist, where women will find shelter if they are brave enough to seek it.
Then, Hedda dies, and Haelewise is left unmoored. With nothing left for her in her village, she sets out to find the legendary tower her mother used to speak of—a place called Gothel, where Haelewise meets a wise woman willing to take her under her wing.
But Haelewise is not the only woman to seek refuge at Gothel. It’s also a haven for a girl named Rika, who carries with her a secret the Church strives to keep hidden. A secret that unlocks a dark world of ancient spells and murderous nobles behind the world Haelewise has always known…
I always love fairytale retellings, so it was pretty much a given that I would get my hands on this book somehow this summer. It also just happened that bookclub had finished up reading “Circe” (which I loved), so when I saw that this was also being compared to that plus “Wicked,” I knew this was going to jump my order of reading for July releases. It’s always so interesting to see what authors manage to dream up for characters who are not only “wicked,” but also only feature very briefly in someone else’s tale. Not only do these bare bones characters need to be fleshed out, but you have to imagine an entire history and world that will weave into a tale that must remain somewhat familiar to readers. It’s a challenge, for sure, but there are also a number of ways to go with it. So half the fun is seeing what each author chooses to do. I can’t wait to see where we go with this retelling!
Per the usual, my review for this book will be up Friday. But don’t wait until then to get in on the chance to win a copy of this book! This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on August 2.