Sunday 4 September 2022

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna (2022)

A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family--and a new love--changes the course of her life.

As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don't mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she's used to being alone and she follows the rules...with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos pretending to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.

But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and...Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he's concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.

As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn't the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn't know she was looking for....

Mika and her found family at Nowhere House are a bunch of magical eccentrics. 
Witches are not allowed to live in groups because of the volatile nature of magic. Three children who don't have control of their magic are bound to cause problems. 
I loved that the people at Nowhere House had such a strong family bond and they didn't want to have to separate the children. Having read about Mika's upbringing and how lonely it was I was hoping for a good outcome for the children.
Jamie doesn't want Mika there as he sees her as a threat to the secrets they are hiding at Nowhere House. However, his grumpiness is soon mellowed the more he gets to know Mika.
There was a surprising twist at the end of the novel that I did not see coming and ended the story in a very heartwarming and uplifting way.
I loved the narration of this book. The narrator does a wonderful job of the characters' voices and accents. I was particularly impressed with Jamie as his accent is difficult to get right and Samara MacLaren nails it. Perfect.

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