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The Witch of Tin Mountain Kindle Edition
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In Depression-era Arkansas, something wicked has come to a haunted mountain town in a novel of uncanny suspense by the author of Parting the Veil.
Blood and power bind three generations of women in the Ozark Mountains. So does an evil that’s followed them across the decades.
1931. Gracelynn Doherty lives peacefully on Tin Mountain, helping her adoptive granny work her cures. Despite whispers that the women are witches, the superstitious locals still seek them out, whether to remedy arthritis or a broken heart. But when evangelist Josiah Bellflower comes to town promising miracle healing, full bellies, and prosperity, his revivals soon hold Tin Mountain in thrall—and Granny in abject fear.
Granny recognizes Josiah. Fifty years ago, in a dark and desperate moment, she made a terrible promise. Now Josiah, an enemy, has returned to collect his due.
As Granny sickens and the drought-ridden countryside falls under a curse, Gracelynn must choose: flee Tin Mountain and the only family she knows, or confront the vengeful preacher whose unholy mission is to destroy her.
From the Publisher
“With LGBTQ representation, Kennedy’s captivating second novel is perfect for historical fiction readers who enjoy a bit of witchcraft, folklore, and mystery.” —Booklist
“The antagonist, the demon, goes by three different names and is incredibly real. So real that images from the novel lingered for days in my mind.” —Historical Novels Review
“Kennedy weaves an achingly beautiful tale full of dark folklore, powerful women, and spine-tingling suspense. Deirdre’s and Gracelynn’s stories will grab you by the heart and stay with you long after the last page.” —Hester Fox, author of A Lullaby for Witches
“Brilliant and enthralling, The Witch of Tin Mountain left me breathless. Gracie and Deirdre are two unforgettable characters, and their stories twine in an intricate braid of complex beauty. Kennedy has secured her place as one of the very best in historical fiction.” —Olivia Hawker, bestselling author of One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow
“Kennedy’s sophomore novel weaves a mysterious, gorgeous tale that spans three generations of witches living in Arkansas—and the man who haunts them. A stunning work filled with fear, dark folklore, an Ozarkian voice that grabs you by the throat, and suspense that will keep you guessing, The Witch of Tin Mountain is the perfect read for a bleak winter’s day under the covers…with a flashlight.” —Maria Tureaud, author of The Last Hope in Hopetown
“Hauntingly atmospheric and crackling with life, The Witch of Tin Mountain is an unforgettable story of family, magic, love, hypocrisy, and the power—for good or evil—we all carry with us. The richly painted Ozark setting leaps from the page, and all three interlaced story lines are captivating, heartbreaking, and triumphant in equal measure. I inhaled this book in two days. Witchy readers won’t want to miss it.” —Allison Epstein, author of A Tip for the Hangman
“Atmospheric and haunting, The Witch of Tin Mountain flawlessly weaves folklore and history into a compelling generational story of love, evil, and magic. With vivid characters and an immersive dive into the beauty and superstitions of her native Ozarks, Paulette Kennedy delivers a darkly captivating novel that readers will devour.” —Erin Litteken, author of The Memory Keeper of Kyiv
“Paulette Kennedy has surely cast a spell with The Witch of Tin Mountain. This multigenerational saga beautifully illuminates a little-known (and often misunderstood) corner of America and its history while also providing spine-tingling, eerie chills and thrills along the way. I absolutely devoured this spooky, atmospheric book!” —Alyssa Palombo, author of The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel
“Kennedy beautifully captures the earthy, rural, charismatic traditions in her native Ozarks…Gritty and atmospheric, her alluring sophomore novel weaves spiritualism, demons, feminism, and folklore with more than a few twists before the book’s satisfying ending. I loved every page!” —Constance Sayers, author of The Ladies of the Secret Circus and A Witch in Time
“The Witch of Tin Mountain is a skillfully plotted home run about three generations of strong women who are bound by history and a curse. Kennedy will delight you with unexpected twists and turns where suspicions and accusations rule the land. Thoroughly enjoyed, a true feast for readers everywhere.” —Andie Newton, USA Today bestselling author of A Child for the Reich
“The Witch of Tin Mountain is lush, gripping, and deliciously creepy. Paulette Kennedy, author of the standout debut, Parting the Veil, transports readers to the heart of the Ozarks, a place as brutal as it is hauntingly beautiful, and the home of three generations of women whose special powers make them the target of an evil man set on destroying them. With elegant prose and captivating storytelling, Kennedy spins a fiercely feminist page-turner about the power of love, loyalty, and family—reminding us that it’s the women in our lives who give us strength and provide a light during our darkest hours. This spectacular sophomore novel proves that Kennedy is an author to watch, in the world of gothic fiction and beyond.” —Elissa Grossell Dickey, author of The Speed of Light and Iris in the Dark
“The Witch of Tin Mountain drew me in from the very first chapter. Paulette Kennedy takes readers on a journey across generations into the heart of the Ozark mountains where women rise above sexism with cleverness, strength, and—if you listen to the ne’er-do-well traveling preacher—witchcraft.” —Jennifer Bardsley, author of Sweet Bliss
“Electrifying! This multigenerational tale that travels across time and space is woven together like a delicate tapestry, and it will stay with you long after the last page.” —Mansi Shah, author of The Taste of Ginger and The Direction of the Wind
“Rich with sense of place, brimming with historical detail, and deliciously spiced with authoritative dialect, this tale of women’s resourcefulness and passion and power is pure magic. Kennedy knows the Ozarks and is uniquely qualified to bring the Ozarks culture alive. A thoroughly readable novel!” —Louisa Morgan, author of The Great Witch of Brittany
“Paulette Kennedy’s The Witch of Tin Mountain cleverly interweaves the lives of three generations of women, and what starts as a quiet, simmering horror turns into a bubbling and brewing revenge against an insidious returning evil.” —Desirée M. Niccoli, author of Called to the Deep
From the Publisher
There’s an evil that’s come to this mountain town, where three generations of powerful, magical women reside. The past literally comes back to haunt them in the form of a mysterious man who shows up out of nowhere and brings with him a dark curse that is all too familiar to the women. It’s up to Gracelynn Doherty to figure out how to save the family and the town from a generations-old curse. This book has it all—witches, folklore, family, healing, and love.
I fell hard for the witches of Tin Mountain and in the best way felt completely immersed in the world of the Ozarks of the 1930s—spooky and authentic. Full of page-turning suspense, emotion, and unforgettable characters, this book is a must-read.
—Melissa Valentine, Editor
- ASIN : B09XX78WN2
- Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (February 1, 2023)
- Publication date : February 1, 2023
- Language : English
- File size : 6195 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 328 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,244 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #3 in Small Town & Rural Fiction (Kindle Store)
- #5 in Occult Horror
- #7 in Occult Fiction
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2023
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Fiction as art - that is, representation of moral concepts and value judgments in concrete form to communicate these ideas to others. Fiction is readily identifiable as “art” when the author’s ideas and value judgments hit home. This is the difference between stories merely meant to entertain, and literature that makes you think and feel and understand the moral judgments presented. The characters are highly idealized and may even be “stereotypical,” so to speak, to clearly illustrate and contrast the moral ideas being presented. And this is the case, even if the reader has a different moral standard than that of the author and may disagree with the concepts and standards illustrated in the artwork, in this case a novel. If the novel is really successful, aside from bringing creative satisfaction to the author in the first place, it may have the effect on the reader of increasing the reader’s understanding and comprehension of the moral concepts being illustrated in the story.
In this novel, love and sex between same sex individuals is sharply contrasted with heterosexual male-female relationships. Love between same sex female couples, the two strongest female lead protagonists and their partners, is loving, tender, and positive. Two minor protagonist males of different races have a similar loving, tender, and happy relationship. Every heterosexual encounter is presented as harsh, angry, or rushed and insensitive. A heterosexual father is a child molester. Another male is misogynistic and basically a rapist. The contrast between LG vs heterosexual relationships could not be more forceful or obvious. This is not a fault of the story; it is precisely the point of moral fiction, meant to clearly represent a particular point of view.
The spiritual/religious themes I thought were not quite as clear and even a little muddled. If we view the strong lead “witches” similar to those of 20th century Wiccan spiritual/religious and magical practices, and the number one antagonist as an old world demon that takes advantage of the gullibility and anti-witchcraft traditions and fears of every day churchgoing and bible-believing people, the story comes together and makes sense as presented. The demon/incubus does have some parallels in non-Christian religions and spiritualities, but artistically is presented more typically as an anti-Christian archetype that has been described as such in the 1400-1800 writings and practices of organized Christian religions and referenced in the witch hunts and paranoias of the time.
Artistically the difficulty I have with this is that the so-called pagan religions of the time did not believe in a Christian god, devil, or demons; they had their own good and not-so-good gods and other powerful beings. Some of these had parallels to the Incubus, so I would have preferred to see a more prototypical evil being from one of these “pagan” spiritualities rather than one that looks decidedly anti-Christian. During the witch hunts of the era, the accused in most case were innocents, falsely accused, and most of them were not anti-Christ or Diabolists and they were not in league with a devil or demons; most of the non-Christian religions of the day and most Wiccan practitioners of today, albeit with some exceptions, would not accept these types of demons, as described in Christian and anti-Christian religions, as real.
The Christian pastor in the story receives light treatment, cast in a negative light but otherwise not a lot of detail. He is similarly lightly dispensed with later in the book to allow the demon/fake minister to take his place unopposed as the spiritual leader of the community. The people of the town are mostly presented as an ignorant rabble, again this is for artistic purposes meant to draw the sharpest contrast between the moral positions. Although organized Christian religion isn’t directly attacked, it is generally presented in a negative light, in that there is nothing positive about it presented anywhere in this story.
The story itself is evenly paced, very well written, dramatic, and mostly predictable; there are a couple of reveals late in the story that may or may not be expected. With all the programmatic stories out there today, along with “non-stop action” novels with a hundred short chapters and the movie script in mind, this novel is a welcome departure and stands out from the field.
This book starts out in 1831 on Tin Mountain with a so called witch named Anneliese. What happened to her and who was at the heart of that. A preacher. A man. A spurned man. She did what she had to to save her son.
Then we jump ahead to 1931, a hundred years later. We meet Gracelynn. She's living with her granny who is not blood kin but from the heart. After losing her mother and then her low life scum of a father she is brought by Val to live on Tin Mountain with her grandmother. Val is her aunt.
Back to 1881 where we meet Deirdre. Deirdre is a young woman with a lot going on. Her dad goes away for work a lot and that leaves her mother to raise her. Her mother is no saint but she is doing her best I suppose. Deirdre is in love with a local boy who I didn't care for at all. He was a user. A liar and only out to get what he wanted. Maybe he cared for Deirdre a tiny bit but that would be about all..
The way these three women are tied together is great. It has that wow factor I mentioned earlier. It was an eye-opener for sure. I loved the way this author spun Deirdre and Gracelynn together was nothing short of fantastic. In my opinion. Then we through in Anneliese and the story is perfect. Are these women truly witches? Your guess is as good as mine. I think they are very powerful. Very strong women. Yes they can cast spells and help people in many ways. They are true and honest. They love life.
This book is about so many other things also. Forgiveness maybe. Being gay in a time when it was unthinkable, still is in many ways. Being pregnant without being married. A so called faith healer. A demon in many forms. You meet three men also, Nathaniel, Ambrose, and Josiah. You won't like either of them. Preachers or fakes. Yeah that's what I thought. Jerks.
A lot of the characters in this story are very likable. Then they turn on the one that only tried to help. Then you won't like them to much. Or I didn't. There were some though that I really loved. And that ending. That ending was dynamic. So powerful. So goosebump worthy. Had me holding my breath and hoping for the best. And the very end. The Epilogue.. Answered what happened to all. I loved it. Great writing. Great scenery. Great book. Well done!
My favorite quote from this book is:
"AS I'VE GOTTEN OLDER, I'VE COME TO REALIZE THAT HOME IS LESS ABOUT THE PLACE YOU LIVE, AND MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU."
Five huge stars. It's so worth reading.
Top reviews from other countries
I'd genuinely love this to be made into a Netflix series! Highly reccomend.
In my opinion, the stories of Gracelynn and Deirdre are overwhelmingly similar. Were it not for the chapter titles, I would have struggled to identify who was being focused upon. Upon reflection, I imagine this is because Kennedy is showing how history is repeating itself for Gracelynn’s generation. Both women seem to experience similar struggles and the temptation of a devil in disguise. Simultaneously, the desires each woman feels are ones they cannot express publicly, not helping with their evident single status and a lustful priest.
The theme of religion is apparent in this story but this is as a result of the witchcraft tale. Superstitions abound and I found the court scene to be quite fascinating. Bellflower’s role in the narrative is quite chilling and powerful; I wondered whether he would display any weakness and was intrigued to understand how he could be defeated. In my opinion, he personifies the devil in disguise, especially as Bellflower is able to manipulate the Tin Mountain community so easily.
Frequently I found my attention wandering with this story and I would have preferred the narrative to have been more pacy. The theme of the supernatural is a big aspect of the book and the writer could have expanded on this further, especially with the importance of the family book. For example, Deirdre’s experience of finishing school in Charleston was a more interesting part of the narrative and I think scenes like these would have made the book more immersive.
There are a lot of characters in this story and with the similarities between the timelines, it was something that required a lot of attention. At times I got to grips with the sinister, gothic atmosphere, but I think this was more of a historical witchcraft read over anything else.
If you like fantasy, history, feminism and witchcraft this is the book for you. With dual timelines that twine together well and a satisfying conclusion. Paulette Kennedy's writing gets better and better.