Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cursed be the Wicked, by J.R. Richardson

Cooper Shaw's childhood left a little to be desired, what with the alcoholic father and a crazy mother everyone said was a witch. And then his father disappeared, making Cooper the prime suspect for his murder - until his mother confessed - sending Cooper to live with the Aunt Liz that hadn't liked his mother or him.

It's been fifteen years since he changed his name and left Salem. Cooper had never intended to return, but the editor of the travel magazine he writes for had other ideas. It seems the last witch of Salem, Crazy Maggie Shaw, has died and Bill wants his best writer on the story.

Cooper objects, loses, and finds himself once again in the town he grew up in, his personal past more confusing now as an adult than it had been as a child. How does one write an objective story about their own mother, the last person Cooper wanted to spend a month thinking about?

And more importantly, can he get in and out of Salem without being recognized?

There are several things I liked about this story. It's a story about magic that is low key, similar to Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic. It's from a male perspective, a person who had become about as much of a non-believer as you can get as Cooper distances himself from a childhood he's forgotten more of than he comes to realize.

It's a tale of truths and perspectives, of mistakes and bad choices, and ultimately love.

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