Author: Suzanne Palmieri
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Booksparks Summer Reading Challenge
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "It’s the trouble you aren’t expecting that gets you. And it’s all around you, Bronwyn, it’s all around you like the air.…
Bronwyn "BitsyWyn" Whalen hasn’t set eyes on the red dirt of Magnolia Creek, Alabama, for fourteen years—not since her mama died. But with her brother, Patrick, imprisoned for the murder of her childhood best friend, and her eccentric father, Jackson, at his wits’ end while her eleven-year-old niece, Byrd, runs wild, Bronwyn finds herself once again surrounded by ancient magnolia trees and the troubled family she left behind. She becomes immersed in a whirlwind of mystery and magic as she tries to figure out what really happened that fateful night her friend died. And as her bond with Byrd deepens, Bronwyn must face the demons of her past in order to unravel her family’s uncertain future.In Suzanne Palmieri's thrilling new novel, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, readers will learn if love and magic are enough to bring a broken family back together."
My Two Cents:
"The Witch of Belladonna Bay" is the story of Bronwyn, a woman who has been away from her small southern town for awhile, and her niece, Byrd, who is growing up and learning a lot about life and how things are not always what they seem at first glance. This is a story about family filled with southern charm, drama, twists and turns, and a big handful of magic. This book was an enchanting read!
The book starts on a dark note: Bronwyn returns to her small town when her brother is accused of murder and the victim happens to be Bronwyn's childhood friend. Bronwyn can't believe that Paddy would do something like that so she goes to her small town to try to figure out what really happened. What she finds is a young girl (her niece), Byrd, that needs some guidance and isn't really sure how to control her own magical impulses yet. This meant that the book started with a bang and helped me to jump right in. The book did get a little slow towards the middle but then picked up again as all of the different pieces of the story started to come together. There were some really good twists and turns during the end of the book that kept me on my toes.
There were a lot of elements in this book that I really liked. The book is told in alternating perspectives between Bronwyn, Byrd, and Bronwyn's mother, Naomi, who happens to be a ghost in this book. I really liked this aspect of the book. You get a good view of everything that is going on. I think that it can be really hard for authors to write books from multiple perspectives while trying to keep every voice sounding distinct and separate. Palmieri was definitely able to do that well.
I also liked that there was an element of magic to this book. Palmieri was really able to make it feel real. It definitely added a layer of fun and interest in this book! Overall, this is a great pick!