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Now She is Witch: ‘Myth-making at its best‘ Val McDermid

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In the harsh world of Now She Is Witch, which would seem to be some version of medieval Europe, most girls and women are possessions for men either to harm or play with. Kirsty Logan is the author of three novels, three story collections, a memoir, two chapbooks, a 10-hour audio play for Audible, and several collaborative projects with musicians and visual artists.

The book contains some very dark and harrowing content, and seems wound around the concepts of womanhood and personhood and all the insidious little parts of society along the way. Mothers and daughters, witches and herbalists, masked mummers and cursed rabbits as hauntings all inhabit the pages of this dreamlike novel that reads like a dark European folktale. Some of the writing is beautiful, some is what I guess is 'stream of consciousness'; interesting, but too long and it gets a bit tiresome. The story tells of Lux, alone and suspected of witchcraft after her mother’s death, when she meets the mysterious Else, who may or may not be a real witch.Now She is Witch has me sleeping easy again in the knowledge that I can keep my self-appointed position as chair of the unofficial Kirsty Logan fanclub. In this witch story unlike any other, Lux and Else join forces to take their revenge on a powerful man. Now She Is Witch feels like the making of a new one, while also fitting into the landscape of British Isles folklore more generally.

Having lost not just her mother, but her home and roots to accusations of witchcraft, Lux sets of on a journey into the woods. From the snowy winter woods to the bright midnight sun; from the horrors of plague to the relief of healing; from lost and powerless to finding your path, Now She is Witch questions the oppositions that shadow our lives.From the past perspective of lux I found the writing style of no capital letters or full stops really difficult to get through and lost the flow of the book. She is beyond salvation and nothing can be done to save her or her soul, that is until one day when Else finds her alone in the woods. Irgendwo zwischen magischem Realismus, historischem Roman, literary fiction und ein klitzekleines bisschen Fantasy.

But, on the off chance you have no clue what I’m rattling on about, all I can say is, read this book to find out. It’s little wonder that for a time Lux, who as the novel progresses becomes in turn an actor on a frozen stage, a servant in a hall of delicacies, a food-taster to a lord and companion to a fine lady, is tempted to turn her back on Else’s revenge and set her own dreams of finding freedom in the wild country aside.the stream of consciousness parts felt super random and were incredibly hard to read so i had to skip them completely. The soft, silky, slippery gift of the Earth, which is being twisted, bent and broken, dried out, cracked so many times.

But Lux is cunning; she knows how to exploit people's expectations, how to blend into the background. It’s not a rehashed version of another witch trial, it’s taking the notion of witches and demonstrating the roles women have been forced to play for centuries, and the level of violence and scorn thrown their way by men and society throughout history.It’s winter and this play, which tracks a woman’s trajectory from maiden to mother to crone, is a small smudge of light in a grim surround of dark.

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