If you’re in the mood for a comfortingly cozy yet witchy (and witty) story, take a look at this! I first fell in love with Sangu Mandanna’s middle grade series, Kiki Kallira, and was very excited to see her come out with her first adult title this year.
The Very Secret Society
of Irregular Witches
by Sangu Mandanna
Penguin Random House, 2022.
Read from a library copy.
It is the sad fate of all witches to be orphaned. Mika Moon, now 31, was brought to the UK from India as a child, adopted by a strict old witch named Primrose who spent more time looking for other orphaned witchlings to adopt than caring for Mika herself. Now Mika moves from short-term job to short-term job, seeing other witches only at secret quarterly meetings. Yes, Mika’s mental health has been affected by this – but she’s decided to face life with a sense of humor, by coming up with increasingly ridiculous names for their group of witches, and most recently, by starting a video channel on social media where she shares real magical potion tips that she assumes people will assume are fake.
…Until the day she receives a message, asking her to serve as a live-in tutor for three young witches. Rosetta, Terracotta, and Altamira were adopted by an older witch who, like Primrose, traveled the world searching for magical orphans. Unlike Primrose, though, Lillian also did archaeology, and has left the three girls to be raised by a devoted if non-magical staff instead of separating them, as Primrose insisted all witches must stay separated.
Mika always believed that Primrose was right, but as she gets to know the three girls, the lovely gay older couple who invited her, the housekeeper, and the obnoxiously handsome if cantankerous librarian, Jamie – she might just change her mind.
This is a delightfully witchy book about finding home, rethinking established patterns, and working through trauma, with a lot of hilarious young witch hijinks as well. I am only supposed to be reading Cybils books right now, but sped through this one despite the guilt when it finally came in after a couple of months on hold. I might need to buy my own copy for future comfort reading as well.
I’ve been seeing lots of witchy romance books coming out lately, but this is the first one of this recent crop I’ve read, though now I also want to reread Barbara Bretton’s Casting Spells, which I recall being delightful, with rather more knitting. Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations!