Friday 19 May 2023

Audiobook Review - The Witch In The Well

Title and Author:
The Witch In The Well by Camilla Bruce
Publisher: Transworld
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction, though I listened to audiobook, borrowed from local library
Buy From (Affiliate):

Hundreds of year ago, the town of F- did something bad. Even now, the ripples of that event affects the town and Catherine Evans has been researching and writing a novel about what happened when Ilsbeth Clark drowned in the local well when the townsfolk accused her of being a witch. According to Catherine Ilsbeth wasn't a witch, but a woman who knew her own mind and who didn't fit the norm of what a woman/wife should be... 

But when her old childhood friend, Elena, comes to town, stuck for an idea to follow up her successful book, Whispers Inside: A Reawakening of the Soul. When she rediscovers the story of Ilsbeth Clark, she thinks that would be a great book idea, focusing on her natural magic, and accidentally mentions her idea in an interview, a rivalry between Catherine and Elena form. 

By the end of the summer, one woman will be dead and the other will be accused of her murder. But did she do it? And who is Ilsbeth Clark, really? An innocent, a witch or something much, much worse?

Meh. That seems to be the best word I can think of the sum up this book - meh. 

Ok, that's a little harsh, I know. But this book had such an interesting premise and yet, the execution of this wasn't the best. 

We have three points of views and these three women are not pleasant people. One was selfish, self-absorbed and naive, the second was selfish, self-absorbed, and prickly and the third was selfish, self-absorbed and incredibly manipulative. None of these characters had a redeeming quality - yes, I love reading unlikeable characters, but I need something to hook me in. Something to have me rooting for them - whether it's good or bad - but with these three. Nothing. There was nothing I hooked onto or something to make me warm to the characters or understand their behaviour. 

Plus, because this is a slower paced book (told via journal entrances, open letters and other forms of writing), it was trying to build the creepy tension over this rivalry. And yet, to me, it was so pity. It seems ridiculous to me that two women in the same town want to write a book on the same person, but from different points of view. It is ok to have more than one book on a subject. And the way both women spited each other felt incredibly childish. It felt so out of character with these women as one had a teenager son. 

And because these characters are so unlikely and the pacing for a good chunk of the book is so slow, I consider quitting this book so many time. And normally, I would have if I was feeling like this with a book or an audiobook, but I decide to keep going as I felt that maybe, just maybe, there was something that would change my opinion on it. 

This book, sadly, missed the mark for me. 

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