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The Witches of New York: A Novel
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HarperCollins 2017
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Description

A Buzzfeed Best Gift Book of the Year

"A dark, atmospheric, and feminist story of three women in New York City's Gilded Age, each determined to thrive in a society hell-bent on keeping them down, and using their coven to do so." —Buzzfeed

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply.

New York in the spring of 1880 is a place alive with wonder and curiosity. Determined to learn the truth about the world, its residents enthusiastically engage in both scientific experimentation and spiritualist pursuits. Séances are the entertainment of choice in exclusive social circles, and many enterprising women—some possessed of true intuitive powers, and some gifted with the art of performance—find work as mediums.
Enter Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair. At their humble teashop, Tea and Sympathy, they provide a place for whispered confessions, secret cures, and spiritual assignations for a select society of ladies, who speak the right words and ask the right questions. But the profile of Tea and Sympathy is about to change with the fortuitous arrival of Beatrice Dunn.
When seventeen-year-old Beatrice leaves the safety of her village to answer an ad that reads "Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply," she has little inclination of what the job will demand of her. Beatrice doesn't know it yet, but she is no ordinary small-town girl; she has great spiritual gifts—ones that will serve as her greatest asset and also place her in grave danger. Under the tutelage of Adelaide and Eleanor, Beatrice comes to harness many of her powers, but not even they can prepare her for the evils lurking in the darkest corners of the city or the courage it will take to face them.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/11/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062359933
ASIN:
B00SRY5G3W

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APA Citation (style guide)

Ami McKay. (2017). The Witches of New York: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ami McKay. 2017. The Witches of New York: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ami McKay, The Witches of New York: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ami McKay. The Witches of New York: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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        Ami McKay is the author of the number–one Canadian bestseller The Birth House, winner of three Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards, and a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and The Virgin Cure. Originally from Indiana, she now lives with her husband and two sons in Nova Scotia.

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A Buzzfeed Best Gift Book of the Year

"A dark, atmospheric, and feminist story of three women in New York City's Gilded Age, each determined to thrive in a society hell-bent on keeping them down, and using their coven to do so." —Buzzfeed

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply.

New York in the spring of 1880 is a place alive with wonder and curiosity. Determined to learn the truth about the world, its residents enthusiastically engage in both scientific experimentation and spiritualist pursuits. Séances are the entertainment of choice in exclusive social circles, and many enterprising women—some possessed of true intuitive powers, and some gifted with the art of performance—find work as mediums.
Enter Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair. At their humble teashop, Tea and Sympathy, they provide a place for whispered confessions, secret cures, and spiritual assignations for a select society of ladies, who speak the right words and ask the right questions. But the profile of Tea and Sympathy is about to change with the fortuitous arrival of Beatrice Dunn.
When seventeen-year-old Beatrice leaves the safety of her village to answer an ad that reads "Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply," she has little inclination of what the job will demand of her. Beatrice doesn't know it yet, but she is no ordinary small-town girl; she has great spiritual gifts—ones that will serve as her greatest asset and also place her in grave danger. Under the tutelage of Adelaide and Eleanor, Beatrice comes to harness many of her powers, but not even they can prepare her for the evils lurking in the darkest corners of the city or the courage it will take to face them.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly, starred review
      • content: "In this weighty, wonderful novel, McKay takes a sidelong glance at misogyny through a veil of witches, ghosts, and other mystical entities in 1880 New York.... Skillful worldbuilding, fascinating characters, and a suspenseful plot make McKay's novel an enchanting, can't-put-down delight."
      • premium: False
      • source: Hazel Gaynor, author of The Girl Who Came Home
      • content: "Wonderfully wicked and deliciously dark, The Witches of New York had me totally spellbound. Reminiscent of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Ami McKay has written a book brimming with atmosphere, intrigue, and a cast of mesmerising characters. I loved it."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus, starred review
      • content: "With a remarkable cast of characters... McKay has crafted a stunning work that bridges the gap between historical and contemporary women's issues. The novel is ambitious in its scope yet still delves deep into the thoughts and motivations of characters who normally exist on society's outskirts—or even beyond the earthly realm.... McKay's elegant prose bridges the gap between the real world and the spiritual realm with skill and compassion."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist, starred review
      • content: "[An] enchanting novel, the characterization is particularly adept.... The writing... is woven together with depth and intensity into a vibrant tapestry.... Highly recommended."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kathleen Tessaro, author of Rare Objects and The Perfume Collector
      • content: 'In the tradition of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Ami McKay recreates not just a historically confident vision of 1880's New York, but a richly imagined, detailed subculture of witchcraft, occultism, and sinister dark forces that coexist precariously, in plain sight; stealthily encroaching upon the affairs of the Gilded Age. Skillfully written, peopled with refreshingly authentic female characters and hurtling forward at a furious pace, McKay delivers that most precious of all experiences to discerning readers — a refuge of intelligence, insight, and genuine invention. Easily one of my favorite books of the year.'
      • premium: False
      • source: Alix Hawley, Globe and Mail
      • content: "Nasty women, your party has arrived. Ami McKay's witches are in town.... The real aim of McKay's new novel is to show a group of believable women leading "an unconventional life".... McKay is a fine plotter....The layering of narratives and styles is lively, and the multiple characters' pasts are especially absorbing.... Society types straight out of Edith Wharton pursue spiritualism for fun... but McKay widens her scope with grimier episodes.... She has a nose for the Dickensian."
      • premium: False
      • source: Robert J. Wiersema, National Post
      • content: "A labour of love, and a testament to the craft.... The novel unfolds with a hurtling intensity. But McKay doesn't let the compulsive momentum interfere with her deeper explorations of her characters....McKay is able to tease out hidden depths and contradictions with ease, revealing the characters in their confounding (and occasionally off-putting) complexity.... One cannot help but want to spend more time in the company of these witches."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tara Henley, Toronto Star
      • content: "The book is richly researched, and packed with enticing historical detail. McKay's prose is, as always, superb — the descriptions enchanting, the narrative arcs compelling, the characters dear (or deliciously sinister, as the case may be). But it is the emotion of the novel that lingers longest, the pervading horror over the persecution of women — and what this persecution has done to repress women's talents, impede their progress and stamp out their voices."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lancashire Post, England
      • content: "Step into an exciting and spellbinding world, brought to us by the soaring imagination of Ami McKay.... McKay's seductive novel unfurls slowly amidst a miasma of menace, mischief, mystery and mesmerising magic.... A clever, compelling story of determined, independent women fighting for a place in a man's world of chauvinism, oppression and prejudice."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from June 5, 2017
        In this weighty, wonderful novel, McKay (The Virgin Cure) takes a sidelong glance at misogyny through a veil of witches, ghosts, and other mystical entities in 1880 New York. Seer Adelaide Thom and witch and apothecary Eleanor St. Clair are the proprietors of Tea and Sympathy, a tucked-away shop where ladies in the know can find a cure for what ails them, including sleepless nights, broken hearts, and unwanted pregnancies. The magical pair’s largely under-the-radar life is abruptly thrown into a tailspin by the arrival of Beatrice Dunn, a kindhearted young witch who’s unaware of her latent powers. Knowing the trio will become a formidable force against evil, a watchful demon begins to plot their destruction—and plenty of mortal men also feel threatened by these women of intellect, self-sufficiency, and independent means. McKay seamlessly combines several plots and juggles a large cast with grace. Skillful worldbuilding, fascinating characters, and a suspenseful plot make McKay’s novel an enchanting, can’t-put-down delight. The door is left open for a sequel, and readers will hope McKay takes Adelaide, Eleanor, and Beatrice on further adventures of witchery and self-determination.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from May 15, 2017
        Old New York shows its magic and its darkness in McKay's (The Virgin Cure, 2012, etc.) latest novel.It wasn't easy for 17-year-old Beatrice Dunn to make it to Manhattan in 1880, but she experienced a pull to the city that felt otherworldly. Open to witchcraft and magic, Beatrice makes her way to Tea and Sympathy, a small tea shop near Madison Square Park that specializes in more than just the newest brew. Its owners, Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair, provide a variety of services to their predominantly female clientele, including access to marital aids and abortifacients. While the women who come into the shop are seeking the means to control their own destinies, the shop's unique product line makes it a target of religious fanatics and zealots aiming to rid the world of evil and witchcraft. The atmosphere becomes even more dangerous with Beatrice's arrival; it is discovered that she possesses the power to communicate with the dead. Though Adelaide and Eleanor help her learn the intricacies of her gift, her ability places her in grave danger. With a remarkable cast of characters--from the obsessive and maniacal Rev. Townsend, who aims to rid society of witchcraft, and the occasionally helpful ghost of his victim, suspected witch Lena McLeod, to the talking raven, Perdu, and a cast of mysterious and meddlesome creatures called Dearlies who inhabit the tea shop--McKay has crafted a stunning work that bridges the gap between historical and contemporary women's issues. The novel is ambitious in its scope yet still delves deep into the thoughts and motivations of characters who normally exist on society's outskirts--or even beyond the earthly realm. Working alongside the women's suffrage movement, these "witches" demonstrate that there are many routes to take toward freedom and autonomy. While Tea and Sympathy seeks to be a refuge for women in need, paranoia and fear of the unknown are sweeping through the city's most devoutly religious circles. The novel is brimming with the spirits of those who have been lost to others' devotion and fear, and McKay's elegant prose bridges the gap between the real world and the spiritual realm with skill and compassion. A sprawling tale of persecution and hysteria set in the vivid world of New York City's Victorian era.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2017
        New York in 1880 is ablaze with fascinating ideas. The spiritualism craze is in full swing; scientists seek proof of the occult, and Egyptomania spreads as the ancient obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle makes its journey toward Central Park. Against this backdrop, Beatrice Dunn sets out for the city, an advertisement in hand for a position as shopgirl at Tea and Sympathy, where those averse to magic need not apply. The shop is run by calm, wise Eleanor St. Clair and mercurial Adelaide Thom, both witches with unique gifts. As Beatrice begins to discover her own powers, dark forces arise to stalk the witches of New York. In best-selling McKay's (The Virgin Cure, 2012) enchanting novel, the characterization is particularly adept, with these dissimilar but intriguing women the fixed point around which Gilded Age New York swirls. The writing, from the spells and fables of Eleanor's grimoire to Anthony Comstock's puritanical correspondence, is woven together with depth and intensity into a vibrant tapestry. McKay's treatment of the spiritual and unseen, and how it anchors the lives of these unconventional women, affords a lyrical, multidimensional version of magic realism that is entirely bewitching. Highly recommended.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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A Buzzfeed Best Gift Book of the Year

"A dark, atmospheric, and feminist story of three women in New York City's Gilded Age, each determined to thrive in a society hell-bent on keeping them down, and using their coven to do so." —Buzzfeed

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply.

New York in the spring of 1880 is a place alive with wonder and curiosity. Determined to learn the truth about the world, its residents enthusiastically engage in both scientific experimentation and spiritualist pursuits. Séances are the entertainment of choice in exclusive social circles, and many enterprising women—some possessed of true intuitive powers, and some gifted with the art of performance—find work as mediums.
Enter Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair. At their humble teashop, Tea and Sympathy, they provide...

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