Read Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker by Camille DeAngelis Online


Evelyn Harbinger sees nothing wrong with a one-night stand. At 149 years old, Eve may look like she bakes oatmeal cookies in the afternoon and dozes in her rocking chair in the evening, but once the gray hair and wrinkles are traded for jet-black tresses and porcelain skin, she can still turn heads as the beautiful girl she once was. Can’t fault a girl for having a littleEvelyn Harbinger sees nothing wrong with a one-night stand. At 149 years old, Eve may look like she bakes oatmeal cookies in the afternoon and dozes in her rocking chair in the evening, but once the gray hair and wrinkles are traded for jet-black tresses and porcelain skin, she can still turn heads as the beautiful girl she once was. Can’t fault a girl for having a little fun, can you? This is all fine and well until Eve meets Justin, who reminds her so much of a former lover that one night is no longer enough. Eve’s coven has always turned a blind eye to her nighttime mischief, but this time they think she’s gone too far—and they certainly don’t hesitate to tell her so. Dodging the warnings of family and friends, Eve must also defend her sister, Helena, when another beldame accuses Helena of killing her own husband sixty years before. As the evidence against Helena begins to pile up, Eve distracts herself by spending more and more nights—and days—romancing Justin as her former self.  There are so many peculiar ways in which Justin is like Jonah, her partner behind enemy lines in World War II and the one true love of her life.  Experts in espionage, Jonah and Eve advanced the allied cause at great personal sacrifice.  Now Eve suspects that her Jonah has returned to her, and despite the disapproval of her coven and the knowledge that love with a mortal man can only end in sorrow, she can’t give him up.  But can she prove it’s really him? In this captivating tale of adventure and timeless romance, novelist Camille DeAngelis blends World War II heroics with witchcraft and wit, conjuring a fabulously rich world where beldames and mortal men dare to fall in love....

Title : Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307454232
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 322 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker Reviews

  • Miriam
    2019-03-13 06:44

    I'm not rating this book because I can't say that I gave it a fair show. I realized after I got it that it was written by someone whose other book didn't work for me at all. Although I read the first 30 pages I was already predisposed to not like it. Thematically and narratively, this story was less interesting to me than DeAngelis' Mary Modern, but on the other hand it didn't present as major obstacles (plot predicated on main character making a decision that is absolutely insane, science that makes no scientific sense) either. I certainly could have gotten through this book had I been, say, traveling and short on books, or in the mood for a really frivolous story about witches getting laid. But as it is -- back to the library.

  • Marian
    2019-03-18 05:19

    I adored everything about this book and read it lightning fast. All I wanted to do was find a way to jump into those pages and live in the world DeAngelis created. Not only is Petty Magic beautifully written but it had an old fashioned kind of feel that reminded me of fairy tales I used to read as a child with a slightly darker, more adult edge. "Enchanting" is probably the best word to describe it.I definitely can't wait to read it again because it was just one of those stories where you need to do a double-take to make sure you didn't miss any of those great, juicy details!Highly, HIGHLY recommended.

  • Katy
    2019-03-01 03:17

    Please note: I read this in December 2010 from a copy received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.My Synopsis: An extraordinarily appealing book, "Petty Magic" jumps between the present (where Evelyn is 149 and, having fallen in love with the young Justin is going through some crazy stunts to try to keep him from seeing the "real" her while maintaining her youthful disguise as long as possible) and the past - especially during World War II, where she worked with OSE as a spy and where she met her first great love, Jonah - of whom she believes Justin is a reincarnation. There are other elements to the story, including inter-coven rivalries and accusations. Understand that these women are not witches and that they sneer at the term - it is used by "dabblers" and "frooty-toots," as they call normals who engage in New Age escapades. They are called beldames and their power is very real. My Review: Written in a style that is warm, wry and often laugh-out-loud funny, I really can't recommend this book enough for anyone who enjoys reading a good book. I don't even know how to typify this one - it has elements of romance, obviously, but they don't overwhelm. It is magical reality, aspects of fantasy, women's fiction, action/adventure ... there is just a lot to love in this little book. Definitely pick it up and give it a read - you won't regret it!! You will only regret (like I did) that you didn't get it sooner.

  • Michele
    2019-03-04 08:21

    For some reason, likely the full title of this novel (Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker), I was expecting this to be a quaint, cutesy-like little novel full of harmless, sweet witches and leaving you with a cozy feel by the end of it. I couldn't have been more wrong. While Petty Magic does indeed feature witches, it has this wonderful historical fiction like feel to it. Our witchy protagonist, Eve, is of course a witch who is 150 years old, witches aging much slower than us normal folk, you see. Like most witches described in the book, Eve is benevolent and doesn't use her magical abilities to harm anyone....instead, she spends her time and magic (or, as they say, her "oomph") rolling back the aging clock to make herself appear as she did in her twenties. Even witches are vain. She trolls for men in bars at night, but it is a aimless existence. Until she meets a young man who Eve comes to believe is the reincarnated version of her one, true love....a British spy who died in WWII when he and Eve worked with the French Resistance to oust the Nazis. The chapters alternate between present day and Eve's memories of what happened to her mortal lost love Jonah....and in doing so, provides a very good look at Nazi occupied France. Ultimately, Eve must make a choice, though, and magic can't cure a broken heart. It's a sweet novel, but be aware that Eve is a little raunchy....I kept finding myself a tad surprised whenever Eve used a crude reference to anatomy, lol. I'm no prude, but it felt a little out of place in the novel at first. But by the end, I was a total convert and loved every word that was written.

  • Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
    2019-03-07 04:38

    Being a witch has it's perks. Being able to change into a younger you at a drop of the hat is just one of them. But, how about when you find out your old love (boyfriend) is reincarnated and is out there. Well... she finds him and doesn't want to let go. Even though she is a "one-night stand" only kind of witch. I found this book to be funny in some parts, boring in some others (minor flaw) and a really fast read for over 200 pages.

  • Chibineko
    2019-03-26 10:20

    Unless you are looking for a tale along the lines of Practical Magic or Witches of Eastwick (the books, not the movies) many readers might be disappointed that this book doesn’t feature witches similar to the current fashion that is so popular. But those who are willing to give it a try will be pleasantly surprised by this book. Evelyn comes from a long line of witches. Not the type that you read about in storybooks or see in the displays at Halloween- but real witches, the type that live exceedingly long lives & practice their arts in secret. They choose to use their magic for either benign or good, something Evelyn knows all too well about. After all, didn’t she (along with several other magical beings) use her magic during World War II to fight against Hitler? It’s during WWII that Evelyn meets the dashing Jonah, the love of her life & it’s during this same war that she lost him. Years later Evelyn is an old woman who uses her magic to give herself the semblance of her lost youth when she discovers Justin, a man who resembles her dead lover in both personality & appearance. Is this really her dead love resurrected? Also, when someone challenges a member of Evelyn’s family with murder, can she help prove their innocence?I’ll admit that this book took me a while to get into. The beginning is so slow that I almost gave up, if not for my rule that I should try to finish any books I receive for review. It’s not that the beginning was terrible or that the characters were unsympathetic, it’s just that the beginning is very, very slow in developing. Once it got past that bump though, the pacing of the book improved & I found that I really got more involved in this book, especially once the charges of murder were leveled. While I’ll admit that I prefer my urban fantasy witches, this was a nice change of pace & I found myself rather liking Evelyn Harbinger.It’s just that this slow beginning was such a chore to slog through that I can’t help but feel that it will put off a lot of readers. Not because of the lack of flash but because it’s just that slow plot-wise. I really do hope that many of those readers will give it another try & keep trucking through the book because it really does pick up later & is pretty good overall. This is a good read, but it will probably only appeal to some audiences. (ARC provided through amazon vine)

  • Hazel
    2019-03-06 09:19

    Added simply for the title. :-)This lagged a bit in the middle, and I think my interest waned because there was too much detail, but overall it's an unusually well considered paranormal novel. It starts, misleadingly, with the narrator using her powers to seduce unsuspecting men (as you do). But it soon becomes more serious, and I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say this is history, particularly WWII history from the perspective of a witch who worked for the SOE. There are important strands about family and romantic relationships, too, and perhaps my attention shifted a bit because De Angelis didn't quite make up her mind which was the main storyline. (But then, perhaps that's how memoirs can be.)I can't quite say if this is historical fiction or romantic fiction or a spy thriller or a clever, whimsical fantasy. But I think De Angelus is worth watching.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-19 05:31

    I think this book needed another pass by the editor. There were sentences that didn't quite make sense, details that were difficult to follow, lots of places where the American characters lapsed into Irish colloquialisms. I'm still not really sure how some of the main story lines resolved. What happened to the protagonist's father? What happened between her parents--and where did her mother go? It was as if the author had 2000 cool ideas and tried to squeeze them all into 320 pages. And as if those 320 pages were written under a very, very tight deadline. I wouldn't recommend this one. Try Mary Modern instead.

  • Mindy Conde
    2019-03-22 05:33

    I started reading Camille DeAngelis' Petty Magic nearly a month ago and it has taken me that long to sludge through it. I kept thinking that I was only just starting the book because I didn't yet feel invested in the characters or the plot, only to find that I was actually a good portion in. That was rather depressing because this seemed completely up my ally: the memoirs of a humorous and seductive witch, telling her history and revealing the great romance of her life. It seemed like something I'd love, but it just didn't grab me. The main character, Eve, is interesting, but not terribly likable, or unlikable for that matter. She's just there as a means to tell the story. It was all very linear and at times felt like a laundry list of events. Not exactly riveting. It had such a good premise and I loved little bits along the way, but overall I felt that it lacked any kind of pacing. I had no incentive to keep reading - no sense of urgency, suspense, romance, or anything that kept me at the edge of my seat. Not that every book needs this, but if it doesn't have it, it generally makes up for it with fantastic writing or some other interesting structural element, etc., that makes me appreciate the work. This though, was just decent writing, nothing so extraordinary that made up for the general lack of excitement. As far as plot goes, we hear a lot about Eve transforming into her younger self to get men, which is justified over and over again to the point where I just wanted the author to move on. We also gets snippets of her family history as well as the love story that reemerges as an echo with a new man she finds. Once the new man comes into play we get more flashbacks to reveal his importance and I enjoyed those moments of historical anecdotes. However, it still didn't work for me. It was too much like, "This happened, and I remember this happening. And then she did this, and I responded like this." It was all just a list of events. It needed more humor or drama, just something to keep me interested and be appealing. Definitely not in my list of things to recommend or authors to revisit. I'm honestly surprised it got such good reviews on here, I guess others saw something I didn't.

  • Annmarie
    2019-03-21 09:31

    This was sort of like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society meets witches and supernatural elements (without the epistolary style). I really enjoyed it & thought it was well done and humorous, with great historical and supernatural elements. Modern day New York witch Eve Harbinger (that's just the kind of name witches have) is in the middle of her second century, but when she wants to go out weekends to have a good time and take home a handsome and/or charming fellow, she uses a little magical "oomph" to drop 120 years or so. What's the harm? She just needs to split during the night before the oomph wears out. Witches, you see, live among us in secret warrens but hide their magical ways - and they aren't wicked. Their covens keep them honest. When Eve encounters a new young shopkeeper who she thinks is her WWII era lover Jonah, reincarnated, she falls head over heels for him - but since they are 125 years or so apart in age, her fellow beldames do not approve. And then one of the coven accuses Eve's older sister of a decades-old crime. The Harbinger women are determined to clear her name, but is she actually innocent? We get two storylines in this book, as the story of Eve and Jonah's wartime spy activities for the allies alternates with the modern day romance and the attempt to get to the bottom of the accusation.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-26 03:27

    I'm mildly OCD about finishing things, especially books, so it takes a *lot* for me to stop reading something. I made it to page 170 of Petty Magic when I found myself staring longingly at a pile of yet-to-be-read library books on my nightstand. In theory, this book is wonderful. Eve Harbinger is a 149 year old witch who can make herself look young again, and to the chagrin of her sisters, enjoys harmless one night stands with unsuspecting young men. But when she meets Justin, who looks exactly like her lost love, she gets emotionally involved and trouble ensues. Present-day action is interspersed with WWII flashbacks that detail her grand love affair with Jonah.DeAngelis spends the first 50 pages explaining the world she has created, and even when the action picks up, it feels curiously empty. This is supposedly a book about big emotions -- lost love, grief, family loyalty -- and yet the narrator comes across as curiously detached. I have no interest in knowing how it ends, which is a sure sign I wasn't meant to read it in the first place.

  • Avril
    2019-03-20 05:27

    Eve Harbinger is a 149 year-old beldame. She borrows magic from her sister Morven to disguise herself as a young, beautiful temptress. She recharges/rejuvenates at her other sister Helena's B & B in Blackabbey, NJ in her "elephant hide of a body" by sipping whisky gingers, eating ambrosia cake and playing Neverending Hobscobble with her nieces. But, there was a time when she didn't have to glamor her looks.... a time when she was a spy for the Allied Forces during WWII... a time when she fell head over heels in love with a Resistance officer who died far too young. More recently, while on a visit to her favorite antique shop Fawkes & Ibis, she comes across a very special curiosity. There she sees a young man who strongly resembles her old lover. What's the connection between the two men? Does she have a second chance at love? Recommended for fans of Charlotte Gray, Vianne Rocher and Harry Potter. Also recommended to those in search of a chatty, witty heroine who's wiser and older than the usual protagonists we encounter in fiction.

  • Christine
    2019-03-05 09:44

    Evelyn Harbinger is a 149 year old witch and still wants to be the young girl she was once. A little glimmer, a little glamour and she is transformed into a young girl who turns heads wherever she goes. No harm in having a little fun is there? That is until she falls in love with Justin, who is so much like her lost love Jonah that she believes he has come back to her.This alone would make a charming story. However Ms. DeAngelis throws in some WWII background and a 60 year old murder mystery and soon the story becomes as cluttered and difficult to manuever through as the Curiosity Shop where Justin works. By the second half of this book I found myself skimming through whole sections to get back to the parts I found interesting. Not my favourite way to finish a book.

  • Emily
    2019-03-18 05:33

    While I really liked the main character and some of the writing styling, a vast amount of time was wasted explaining the setting and the history of this particular world without moving the plot along. I thought the idea of living long enough to meet your soulmate in a reincarnated form to be a very interesting concept but the author tried to spin too many webs within the main story - jumping back and forth in history, adding a cold-case murder accusation in for fun, intra-coven politics, personal family tragedies - to develop any one in particular.

  • Ann
    2019-03-26 08:21

    This book was fun! Nothing too deep, just a fun supernatural love story with some WWII history thrown in. I really liked Eve, the main character . . . she was spunky and fun to hang out with (in a literary sense). I also liked the "beldame" world of witches the author created, seems like you could mine that field for a few more books (I hope so, at least). This would be a good travel book, something to take with you on the plane to read that's not going to take up too much mental space to process.

  • Pangaea Pangaea
    2019-03-11 06:16

    Marvelously clever novel. It twists and turns and had me enjoying the journey from first to last page.

  • Mika
    2019-03-03 09:20

    Loved it! Different style of writing than I'm used to but I didn't want it to end.

  • 3sm3
    2019-03-12 08:35

    not quite like the synopsis, really enjoyed

  • N.A. Fedorak
    2019-03-12 10:34

    Only romance book I like.

  • Kayla the Unicorn
    2019-03-22 07:14

    Did not finish.

  • Nova Walsh
    2019-03-25 08:38

    I really wanted to like this one but I found it very hard to follow and couldn't get interested enough in the characters. Skimmed the last half.

  • Jdance4eva
    2019-02-28 10:36

    Couldn't get past page 55. Started off as a read I thought I'd really enjoy but I could never commit to reading it for more than ten minutes at a time. The details while whimsical became overbearing and distracting. Don't mind a choppy style which often keeps the story fresh but it seems that the story was taking too long to grab me and allow me to become invested in any character. Sorry about this because I was really looking forward to the ride.

  • Patricia - Lady with Books
    2019-03-05 09:36

    When I first cracked open Petty Magic by Camille DeAngelis, I had a strong sense of déjà-vu. It was so similar to The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston (which I just finished) that I had to give the cover the hairy eyeball just to make sure I was holding the right book. Both books have main female characters that are witches and immortal. Both authors interpret “immortality” as aging more slowly than a normal human, so that the main female characters are both in their elder years in the books. There are flashbacks to both World Wars in the books and both main female characters managed to have a love affair with a soldier. It was so similar that it was creepy.Both female characters are haunted by their pasts but, thankfully, that’s where the similarity stopped. Elizabeth from The Witch’s Daughter is hunted by the man who made her immortal. Evelyn from Petty Magic is born immortal, part of a large family of magic-users. And when I say a large family, I very much mean that. There are a lot of people in Evelyn’s family, although the author does not name so many of them that it begins to overwhelm the reader. There are just enough people running around for there to be a few secondary plot lines threaded through the book. Not enough to be distracting from the main story, but enough to be interesting.Evelyn’s true-love, Jonah, was killed while the pair was acting as spies in World War II. Evelyn never completely heals from the loss and now, appearing to be in her 60’s, Evelyn uses her magic to make herself appear young again, leaving a string of one-night stands behind her. But then Justin falls into her life and Evelyn thinks that her love may have returned to her. There is only one problem; Evelyn is now almost 150 years old. She is no longer the young thing Jonah fell in love with all those years ago. Evelyn uses her magic once again to change her appearance but knows that the deception can’t last.The ending is happy but bittersweet. I won’t give it away here. What I found most fascinating about Petty Magic was the little details DeAngelis uses to flesh out her magical society. There are rules and laws that we see enforced in the book. Evelyn’s habit of using her magic to turn herself young is frowned upon but tolerated because it’s mostly harmless and she’s part of the head family. It’s nice to see a magical society set in place for the book. My only problem is that the first few chapters were spent bumping all this information on the reader in one go. The information could have been imparted as the story progressed rather than just shoved in our faces at the beginning. I spent the first few chapters wondering when the story was going to start.The book moves from between present time to World War II and it always takes a few paragraphs for me to figure out which time frame I’m reading in. Petty Magic is entertaining and once you get over the information dump at the beginning, moves along fairly quickly. There are some interesting tidbits of world building in the book. It is a good book, one I give a mid-range grade to, and I would recommend Petty Magic by Camille DeAngelis to anyone looking for an amusing witchy read.

  • Meg Elison
    2019-03-02 05:42

    Clever, but unoriginal. Author DeAngelis clearly got a great deal out of her time in Ireland. The use of dialect in this is creative and engaging, the character is easy to hear. The voice, however, is muddled when we depart from anything but Eve's direct discourse. The description of this book from every outlet describes it as a "timeless romance," which is a nice way of saying that it offers nothing new. PETTY MAGIC offers us the lovelorn and doomed witches of PRACTICAL MAGIC, with the jealousy and sexuality of WITCHES OF EASTWICK who travel by a method called "loo flue," that is so succinctly stolen from J.K. Rowling I'm surprised her lawyers haven't come knocking yet. Weaving in and out of a romance, the author tries to sell us war and action and falls short on both. She succeeds at wordplay and clever dialogue: shitty coffee is "Merdewell House" or "Maxwell Faust," since you'd sell your soul for something better. Neat little historical details are thrown in from the trial of Alice Kyteler to the Battle of Britain, but it fails to come together. I was left with the impression of a clever writer who had no story to tell and so cobbled together pieces of others and dreamed them seamless and whole.This has moments. The marionettes are a subtle and creepy touch and struck me as fairly original. The last showdown between Eve and the other woman is tightly written, tense, and has earned its emotional punch. However, these moments are diluted by too much exposition and snark and not enough story. Unless you've read all the good books about witches already, you can do better. Try Joanne Harris. On a personal note, I must say something to authors of supernatural fiction. If you choose to write about pretend witches, be careful with what brush you choose to paint the real ones. Condescending to or mocking neo-pagans will not go unnoticed. We are a vocal, very web-savvy minority. We read a great deal and we love books about witches. We're real tired of being sidelined as kooks so that your witches can look more "real" by putting us down. If you can't do it right, leave us out of it.

  • Kelly Houser
    2019-03-11 08:40

    I adore revisionist history. When I picked this book up on a whim and read the description, I was tickled. This book combined revisionist history, witches, magic, and true love. Just a few of my very favorite things!I enjoyed this novel. It was an interesting take on witches and witchcraft. I loved the extended lifetimes of the “beldames” and their family members. I found it hysterical that the witches travel “by loo.” Think Harry Potter and traveling by flue, but instead of a chimney, it’s a toilet. I puffy heart loved the gingerbread replica of the family home at the Winter Solstice, and how the tiny candy inhabitants’ location in the house mirrored the location of the actual person it represented. This novel was full of tiny details like this and these tiny details made it totally loveable.The plot of the novel was two-fold. There’s the plot of Evelyn-in-the-past. This aspect of the plot follows Evelyn through her historic travels in Nazi Germany. It is during this time that she meets and falls in love with Jonah, the love of her life. There’s also the plot of Evelyn-in-the-present. This aspect of the plot deals with Evelyn and her developing relationship with Justin, a man who reminds her entirely too much of Jonah. The two plots run in tandem. Present day events trigger Evelyn’s remembrance of the events of the past. DeAngelis beautifully weaves the two timelines together to tell one cohesive tale.My only issue with this novel was that it read fairly slowly. I am a very fast reader, but for some reason, this novel took me a very long time to read and it felt like it was dragging on for a long time. That is not to say I didn’t absolutely enjoy the story, but I think the pacing could haveOverall, I enjoyed this book very much. I would definitely recommend it!

  • Judie
    2019-03-25 11:37

    I gave this book 3 stars, but only begrudgingly. I like the *genre* of the book... the magical elements, and so *parts* of this book were kind of fun to read. But other parts, not so much.Let me say that the author's attempt to make a 149 year old woman sound believable as a 20-something American girl fails miserably. Firstly, the way she talks is in no-way American... she uses English words (like "loo" for bathroom, "jumper" for sweater, "trainers" for sneakers, "mobile" for cell phone, "quim" and "naughty bits" for genitals, etc). They drink tea. She calls her boyfriend "dearie," and the young girls call their aunts "auntie." I've never in my life heard American kids talk like that. I found that cultural inaccuracy distracting and a little annoying. I love English stories, and I read them all the time- but they involve English people acting English. When you say the characters are American, but they are clearly English, that bugs me a tiny bit.I could forgive all of that... the storyline with Justin was mildly amusing. What I couldn't stand was the every-other-chapter going back in time to WWII, and the spy missions. They were recounted in SO MUCH unnecessary detail... all the intricate minutiae that ultimately mattered nothing at all to the plot, and only confused me. By mid-book I was just skipping over the flash-back chapters entirely, and doing so didn't dimish the main story at all for me. Which just makes me wonder why they were there in the first place.So, I finished* the book (I say *finished* because of all the chapter-skipping I did), just to say I finished it. But I can't recommend it. Although, to read the reviews, some people truly LOVED this book and hang on its every word. Not me. To each his own.

  • Chelsea
    2019-03-21 04:24

    Miss Evelyn Harbinger is a witch. But not the warty-nose and pointy-hat kind. Evelyn is plain, with the same insecurities as everyone else. Oh, and she's over 140 years old, can travel through toilets, and can do magic. Set during both world wars, Eve is hired by various agencies to work as a spy. During this time, she meets her soul mate Jonas, who's life eventually ends due to wartime causes. However, years later, Eve meets Justin, a split-image of her former love. Could it be possible that Jonas has somehow returned to her?I read Camille DeAngelis' Mary Modern back when it was released in 2007 and absolutely loved it. The premise was neat and the writing was new and exciting. This sophomore book doesn't quite pack the same punch, but I still enjoyed it a lot. The coven of witches reminded me of a group of sweet, kooky old ladies. DeAngelis teases the reader with sex but never shows any of it, and the scenes are yummy nonetheless. My heart ached for Eve's longing to have her former lover again. The best part was the completely swoon-worthy ending.Drool!DeAngelis has a very witty and smart voice, the likes of which I have not seen in quite some time. I loved reading from Eve's POV. It felt like I laughed out loud in almost every chapter. And though the plot spanned across centuries, DeAngelis obviously thought out the smaller details, because the story is tight and wraps up nicely. I am looking forward to her next book!

  • Denise
    2019-03-26 06:20

    4.0 out of 5 stars Changes everything you thought you knew about witches..., September 29, 2010This is a lovely book about 149-year-old beldame Evelyn Harbinger, a witch who uses her power exactly as prescribed and allowed by her coven --"By magic I shall do no harm, except in defense of myself or another." Eve uses her abilities to transform herself into a young woman each night and then goes about using her charms and wiles on unsuspecting human men. She's adventurous, lonely -- and greedy!Told in the second person, Eve takes "you" on a journey into her world. She plies you with tidbits about being a witch in the modern world and explains how she travels and what she eats. In short, she shows you what witches are and aren't. Eve is about her business when she meets a young man, Justin, who reminds her of her long lost love -- a man she met and fell in love with during World War II, in Europe, where they worked together in the French Resistance to defeat the Nazi regime. Typically, witch-mortal romances are disastrous -- after all, he ages normally while she retains her youth and lives a very long life. She can't say no to this chance to reconnect with the spirit of her dead lover, Jonah. She must have Justin.A fun novel dealing with World War II history, magic and love. What more could a reader want on a cool autumn night -- read it for a warm feeling!

  • Joanna
    2019-03-15 04:36

    A very enjoyable book that rides the line between historical fiction and whimsical fantasy. There are witches here, and an entrancing fantasy world associated with them including historical buildings that coexist with current buildings and a mostly female society centered around covens. But there's also WWII stories told here as the protagonist joins a British spy unit and uses her powers to help provide intelligence to the Allies. And a bit of romance, though mostly of the star-crossed variety and not enough to dominate the other aspects of the story. Overall, a well balanced and enjoyable read; a nice diversion from thinking about elections and politics.I enjoyed the conversational and light tone of the narration and found the interplay of magic here delightful. The magic didn't overwhelm the story, but it was a necessary and intrinsically consistent part. In some ways, this book reminded me a bit of Sarah Addison Allen (e.g., Garden Spells).

  • Shannon
    2019-03-25 10:41

    The plot, characters, and magic system of this novel are definitely imaginative. However, I can't really find it in myself to give this book more than three stars. This book flips between the Eve's past and present as it tells the tale of her past love and his present reincarnation (or has he really been reincarnated?). I found that I preferred reading the present more than the past. That was after struggling to actually get interested in the book. I really couldn't sympathize with the main character. Nor could I envision her world. The magic just didn't seem real to me. What exactly is "oomph"? It just seems like such a catch all. My final complaint lies with the side plot regarding Helena, Eve's sister, and the investigation into her husband's death 50 years ago. It has NOTHING to do with anything else in the novel except to drag in another character that eventually helps to expose Eve to Justin.....who then is magic'd to forget Eve's secret anyway. So.....pointless. Aside from a handful of fun scenes and interesting character moments, this book is only mildly interesting. I suppose to the right reader it might be a good read, but to me it's pretty forgettable.