The Witches of Cambridge by Menna van Praag
Fulfills 2016 Popsugar Challenge #8: A book set in Europe
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It was just released on 2/9/16.
The book follows a group of witches and their relationship struggles. Despite the magical element, the issues they face are quite "ordinary" issues in women's fiction: Heloise is a grieving widow trying to face life again, Amandine suspects her husband of cheating, Noa is very isolated from other people, Kat has unrequited love for her best friend, and Cosima desperately wants a baby despite the health risks for her.
The first half or so was VERY slow, though it did redeem itself in the second half. Some of the twists in the book I saw coming, others came as a surprise though everything made sense in the context of the book.
I think this book would have been far more enjoyable as a short story collection - the constant jumping around of storylines drove me crazy and prevented me from connecting with the characters because I felt the surface was only being scratched most of the time. The only one that I felt much emotional investment in was Heloise. Her sections were quite melancholy but beautifully written.
I would cautiously recommend this book if you like multiple narratives and relationship-driven fiction with a touch of magic.