This year hasn’t been a walk in the park. From a global pandemic to murder hornets – 2020 has been a lot. And if you’re like us, you may have had a hard time sitting down and focusing on anything, let alone an entire book. But trust us when we say – THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING will make you forget about the hellscape that is 2020.
The main character, Immanuelle feels so fresh and interesting and you will feel like you know her deeply after just a few pages. You will quickly learn that Immanuelle is not your average Bethel woman. In Bethel, the Prophet’s word is law and the women are must conform to a very devoted and submissive life (think Handmaid’s Tale). In short, Bethel sucks.
Immanuelle does not fit in in Bethel. She is driven to seek out answers about her mother’s time in the Darkwood, while also trying to follow the Holy Protocol in Bethel, despite them treating her like an outcast because of her mother’s affair with a man of a different race. She’s juggling a lot, while also trying to maintain an image that is acceptable to the society she was raised in – much like every woman we know. #relatable
The Darkwood is the forbidden forest that borders Bethel. The Darkwood feels like it’s a character at times and provides immediate intrigue, and a sense of danger that made us as eager for answers as Immanuelle.
Alexis Henderson‘s world building and vivid descriptions make you feel like you are walking beside Immanuelle as she deals with the racism in Bethel, searches for the truth, and works to crush the oppressive patriarchy. Also, witches. We love witches.
Add this book to your TBR list this summer, you deserve it!
In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.
But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.
Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.
THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING (Ace) by Alexis Henderson debuts 7/21/2020.