My second witchy read of the year! There is something about fall that makes me crave stories with spooky, atmospheric, and witchy vibes. The Lighthouse Witches was the perfect fit and would be a great rainy day read. Filled with plenty of Nordic folklore and covering the witch trials during King James VI’s reign in Scotland, this story is a solid combination of mystery and paranormal.
The story is divided into 3 timelines and perspectives.
- 1998: Liv and her 3 daughters as they arrive into a small coastal town in east Scotland. Liv, an artist has been commissioned to paint a mural. We follow Liv and the girl’s as they become familiar with their new surroundings and stumble onto the Wildlings myths of the island.
- 2021: Luna, the middle of Liv’s the three girls has lived the past 22 years searching for answers. She was the only family member to not disappear in 1998. Now, expecting her first child, thinks she has found her youngest sister, Clover. Except Clover is still 7 years ago, and exactly the same as when she went missing.
- A mysterious grimoire with a mysterious past.
Even though there are 3 timelines and POVs it’s fairly easy to follow the storyline within these pages. They all tie nicely together and the transitions between each are clear.
While not scary, there is a spooky atmosphere to the story. Especially with the Wildling / Changeling folklore and Icelandic mythology that is encapsulated within the story. I enjoyed that while the story has to do with witches, it’s less about them practicing, and more about the history of witch trials, the magic that is naturally in the world, and how local lore can influence a community
Personally, I’m not a huge Gothic fan, as I tend to find them to be more character driven and lacking in a sufficient plot. This is not the case with Cooke’s writing. There is a clearly cut mystery that ties into the story. Which makes this the perfect Gothic read for us plot driven readers.
This was my first read by C.J. Cooke, but because of the originality and the excellent writing, it sure won’t be my last.
The Lighthouse Witches comes out October 5, 2021. Huge thank you to Berkley Publishing for my advanced copy for my honest review. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof_books.