Overview: The story is alternately narrated by Irene Richards, 69, and her daughter, Shirleen McClure, 35, as they cope with events and each other during one year. In a comedy of errors, Irene completes a mail-order course in witchcraft, enlisting the aid of a 12th-century sorceress, Moldred of Breste, to enact revenge on her unfaithful husband, Teddy, who is recuperating from a stroke. Although Irene perceives her daughter as an adversary, Shirleen is only trying to help her mother adjust to the vicissitudes of aging while dealing with her own early midlife crisis.
Moldred shares her anti-aging formula, inspiring Irene to forget her vendetta and develop Forever Young, the bogus bath salts that will make her famous. When customers discover the ruse, a repentant Irene seeks solace in a Neo-Pagan lifestyle, but soon becomes disenchanted with life in a coven. She forgives Teddy, who has recovered his health and become a caterer.
The story concludes with the Wiccan marriage ceremony of Irene's grandson, Junior, and his pregnant girlfriend, Antoinette, who is the daughter of Teddy's former mistress. To everyone's delight, their baby is born with midwife Moldred in attendance. At the novel's end, Irene, having rediscovered the pleasures of traditional family life, contemplates a future without Neo-Paganism that might even include Teddy.
Readers are sure to enjoy Witch's light and dark treatment of life's thorny issuesaging, jealousy, revenge, mother-daughter dynamicsand its gentle send-up of new-age fads. Editors have noted the following: Witch has more than its share of pleasures and surprises, is professionally and clearly written, represents an excellent concept of humorous contemporary fiction, is filled with engaging characters, is a stylishly funny novel characterized by assured pacing and an eye for the macabre.
In 2005, the manuscript was a semi-finalist in
the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel