What a pleasantly macabre novel this is.
As a former teen witch wannabe from watching The Craft too many times, I have an innate weakness for literary witches. The Wicked Deep had been on my radar for this exact reason, so I was very pleased when Simon and Schuster offered to send me a copy of the UK paperback.
Marguerite, Aurora and Hazel Swan were drowned in the town of Sparrow’s harbour, accused of witchcraft and seduction. But their souls could not be contained by their aquatic prison. Every summer the sisters return to land, inhabiting the bodies of local girls, luring boys and men to their deaths in the harbour that claimed them 200 years ago.
Penny Talbot has been watching the Swan Season from the sidelines for years, too superstitious to take part in the town’s Swan-themed parties and celebrations, too wary to celebrate an annual slaughter. When a tourist named Bo blows into town looking for work, Penny finds herself drawn to him, offering him work in the lighthouse she lives in. But when Bo catches the attention of the Swan sisters, Penny must fight to keep him safe.
Where The Graces has all the sex and swagger of The Craft, The Wicked Deep has all the darker sides of Practical Magic — a small town utterly linked to one family of women and its curse.
I enjoyed reading the burgeoning relationship between Penny and Bo — there’s nothing like a bit of jeopardy and a 200 year old curse to bring a couple together.
Shea Ernshaw‘s debut novel demonstrates that she is an author to watch out for, providing the reader with an engaging (and often unreliable) narrator in Penny, a complex set of relatable villains, and a small town with a blood-curdling history.
Inspired by the Salem Witch trials, this is a fantastic novel of revenge, curses and murder set against a backdrop of the salt-sprayed Oregon coast.
What to read next:
Thank you to the lovely team at Simon and Schuster for sending me not just a copy of the book but the delicious smelling Sparrow candle from Meraki Candles.