Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.
Witchcraft is dark stuff and Josephine Hemlock knows it’s up to her to control magic or be consumed by it. When strangers start showing up in her town, Jo senses dark forces and danger. Is her mother’s killer finally making the fatal move to end the Hemlock bloodline?
I started reading this late at night and before I knew it, it was 5 in the morning. House Of Ivy & Sorrow was amazingly entertaining! Almost everything about this book made me giggle – small-town setting, neighborly characters, hair-pulling spells – the ingredients used in conjuring spells were not meant for the faint of heart and I nervously laughed and winced whenever the witches gave up their nails, flesh and teeth to activate spells. No wonder old witches all looked ragged, toothless and rotten!
I really liked that there wasn’t any battle between white magic and black magic. In this story, all magic was dark. Depends on the level of intention and control, magic could be wielded, directed to make a situation better (if the intention was good) or worse (if the intention was foul). If the witch lacked control, she could be consumed by the darkness of magic and ultimately be destroyed. Because there was always a price to be paid to call upon magic, Jo learned at a very young age that unless the benefits truly outweighed the price, she should never tap into the darkness. I liked the brief explanation of why certain ingredients were used in a spell. The symbolic meaning of these ingredients helped me see why Jo and her Nana were powerful but friendly witches as opposed to those nasty ones who simply aimed at stealing and destroying lives. It’s disgusting to learn about those who lived to destroy but without them, I guess I wouldn’t see how Jo put herself in action and used what she knew to fight, give and create.
Remarkably entertaining, House Of Ivy & Sorrow is a bizarrely addictive story not to be dismissed in my opinion. Don’t let the cackling of a witch stop you from picking this one up – I hope you’ll have fun reading it as much as I did!