Readers first met one of the titular witches in this historical read in author Ami McKay's last bestselling novel, The Virgin Cure. Then called Moth, she was a fiercely independent girl who, by the end of the book, found herself working as a sideshow attraction. Now a grown woman going by the name Adelaide Thom, Moth has embraced her powers and runs a tea shop–cum–magic emporium with a fellow witch, Eleanor St. Clair.
Centuries after the Salem witch trials, magic is still viewed with suspicion by society at large, though that doesn't stop posh ladies from dropping in for palm readings, charms and potions. Then, one sunny September afternoon, a young woman named Beatrice arrives at their doorstep. Untrained but clearly powerful, Beatrice can see and hear things no one else can. At the tea shop, she finds a sense of belonging, while Adelaide and Eleanor quickly come to care for this wayward girl. But when Beatrice disappears, the witches must acknowledge the anti-occult sentiment that has been bubbling up throughout the city—and find their protégé, before it's too late.
Told through McKay's signature combination of prose, period advertisements, newspaper clippings and other ephemera, her third novel offers both a compelling, fast-paced story and a peek into New York of the late 1800s, a time when a woman could carve out an independent life—but society would prefer she didn't.
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay, $35.