HomeAll postsThe Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

A review by Nalini Haynes

There are six witches of Moonshyne Manor. Like a honeycomb that starts as a circle but resolves into a hexagon, they are strongest together. (I did not know this prior to reading this book!)

A wrecking ball threatens their home. A LITERAL wrecking ball. A decades old family feud, men determined to burn witches and an evil warlock are some of the perils they face.

Thirty-three years ago a catastrophe broke them. Now they face fallout from what happened then, while trying to rebuild their relationships.

Genderqueer

Ruby was a beautiful girl when she arrived to join the witches of Moonshyne Manor. Then she ran out of “juice”, so appeared as a boy. She is a genderfluid creature, loved and beloved of the circle of sisters.

Ursula was never as feminine as Ruby, although Ruby encouraged her – pressured her – to “put in effort”.

Feminist

As the story opened, I assumed – I don’t know why – that the witches were middle aged, menopausal. Then I realized that no, they’re actually around 80 and their previous escapade, the foundation for their current state, was around the time they were 50.

All six women have agency in their lives. They challenge others and each other. From tattoos to sexcapades, they are a dynamic group.

The verdict

Not only are the women entrancing characters, each unique and dynamic, but their perils unfold alongside flashbacks developing backstories. And Persephone, the teenager who allies herself with them, is funny, bringing even more heart to the story. I raced through this novel in the space of a day. I highly recommend The Witches of Moonshyne Manor.

Bianca Marais talks to DMZ in this podcast.

Book details

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9781867270447 (Aus imprint; it’s available elsewhere.)
ISBN10: 1867270447 (Aus imprint; it’s available elsewhere.)
Imprint: HQ Fiction (HarperCollins Australia)
Format: I read the paper book, 374 pages
Released: 2022

The Witches of Moonshyne Manor: a cauldron bubbles away below the title

 

Nalini
Nalinihttps://www.darkmatterzine.com
Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.

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