The hour is upon us.
This week’s theme, my dear bookworms, is:
Many years ago one of my college roommates who was/is also a good friend handed me her copy of The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. She is a huge Rice fan and was reading through all of her vampire books at the time. I had never read anything by Rice and I can’t remember why she recommended TWH to me, other than the fact that she loved that book.
I took that chunk of a book and started reading. The mass market edition, which is the edition I had, is over a thousand pages.
TWH was not only my first novel by Anne Rice, but it was my first novel about witches. Obviously I didn’t have any other witch novel to compare it to, but after reading it I can’t imagine a better book about witches to start with.
TWH begins the saga of The Mayfair witches. The story opens in present day San Francisco and effortlessly glides between 17th-century France, the coffee plantations of Port-such-Prince, New Orleans, and the Civil War South.
In present-day San Francisco, a neurosurgeon named Rowan Mayfair, rescues a man who has drowned. Aware she has some type of power, but unaware this power comes from being a descendant of an ancient line of witches, she brings him back to life (this isn’t a cheesy bring-back-to-life-romance story, I promise). This man, Michael Curry, having had a brief experience with death acquires a sensory power of sorts (also not cheesy) is drawn to Rowan.
Michael and Rowan’s story is followed as easily and as intensely as the one of the Mayfair Witch history. Ultimately the stories intertwine. If you like historical family sagas, I think you will greatly enjoy this book. Rice draws you in with such hypnotic visuals- at times they seem almost larger than life. As you learn more about each generation of witches, it becomes harder and harder to step away from this story and their world. Her words might just pull you right from where you are and into her world of witchcraft, spells and the sometimes seductive destruction of four centuries of witches.
It’s only when a story is accompanied with a delectable richness like that of velveteen that you know someone is truly a master at their craft.
Anne Rice is one such master.
The Mayfair witches and their story have stuck with me for over twenty years. Never would I have guessed that a book such as this would’ve entranced me so fully.
“I feel the darkness near me; I feel the light shining. And more keenly I feel the contrast between the two.“
Anne Rice, The Witching Hour