by Jessic Spotswood
Coming February 7, 2012
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship--or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word....especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction.
Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood-not even from each other. (from the back of the book)
Cate Cahill and her two sisters are witches and no one knows. Not their lovable, absent father. Not the servants, no one in town. And Cate has to keep it that way for the safety of her sisters. Witches are hunted down and disappear from society in this alternate America. The sisters live in New England which started out as a place for religious freedom, but the witches got so strong they ruled over the men. So, the men locked them in their temples and burned them to the ground. Not many witches are suspected to have survived. But no one knows for sure.
Cate is very loyal to her mother and sisters and feels very responsible for keeping her sisters safe. But her sisters are a bit rebellious and love to practice their magic in the gardens outside. But it's risky and they could get caught. With Finn Belastra in the gardens, it's likely he'll see them. But Cate has even bigger problems, does she choose to join the Sisterhood and be taken away from her sisters, unable to look after them or does she marry her best friend Paul who she thought would continue to live next door, but who now wants to move to the city. Or does she follow her heart and marry Finn Belastra, someone who the Brotherhood probably wouldn't approve of, but who accepts her entirely for who she is and might even accept her for what she is if she told him.
Cate at first is a little hard to like. She's nagging and not much fun and we don't understand why she's that way. But we soon learn why she's so uptight and why she's so hard on her sisters. She's got a lot going on and she's got a heavy responsibility. Then, the nosy neighbor next door convinces their father that a woman from the Sisterhood should come to school them in how to be ladies and have tea and make calls on the women of the small town they live in. They also need lessons in other things. All three girls are appalled at this idea, but there is no choice in the matter. But things in the town aren't what they seem and neither is the Sisterhood.
This book is filled with double crosses, secrets and lies. Many cover ups and many questions left unanswered. The Sisterhood makes sure they get their way when they want it and are just as devious and scary as the Brotherhood. Leaving the family in a tattered state, the ending is a huge cliffhanger and not the kind I like. I'm going to be waiting on that cliff until the next novel comes out to see what happens!
This is a great novel and easy to read in one sitting. It draws you into the story and you love following Cate around cheering her on in her pursuit of happiness and her ability to still fulfill her promise to her mother. The manipulations and machinations of everyone else in the town and beyond are a bitter pill to swallow. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!