A Witch in Time

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Member Reviews

I really liked the plot of this book and found the characters interesting though it did have a few slow spots.
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The muse.

The actress.

The musician.

The witch.

There is only one novel in which you can live your life four times, in different ways, through two centuries, trapped in a deadly curse with a demon at your heels. If you are a fan of time-travel books like me, then the blurb alone at the back of the book should have you hooked in an instant.

Washington, DC, 2012 - After divorcing Roger, an art collector and “wunderkind in the philanthropy world” Helen is on a blind date with Luke Varner, who is terribly out of place with his sense of fashion as if lost in time. Their conversation starts off with labored small talk about her job at the influential magazine “In Fame” and it doesn’t take long for Luke to speak in riddles and drop some strange hints about her family’s life history.

“You haven’t changed. I mean you have changed…the hair mostly. It is more of a copper color now".

“I hate this moment.” He rubbed his legs, looking nervous. “I go about thirty years hating this moment, and then you call me and we do this all over again.”

Challans, France, 1895 - Juliet LaCompte is sixteen years old and promised to marry the Bosson boy, Michael in a year who will inherit the farm of his parents. Her father works on the Busson Farm and her mother runs the house and makes special herb remedies and pastes to sell at the town apothecary. Juliet dreams of a life in Paris despite their current financial status. When a local artist, August Marchante is painting a series on children, he offers much coin to paint Juliet and her little brother. What begins so innocently on that fateful day will have tragic consequences that ripple through time and space, making Helen, in Washingon DC, contemplate murder in 2012.

New York City, 1932 - Nora Wheeler, a 19-year-old dance theater girl, is in an arrangement with Clint who “cleans up problems” at the theater. He promises her a connection to Hollywood and MGM and expects her to be his girl for all his needs. But Clint is a drunk and abusive, and after setting money aside, she leaves him one night in a risky maneuver, by train, heading West. Hollywood isn’t as welcoming until she makes drastic changes in her appearance and works even harder for her dream. Unexpected talents garner her some attention, but her fortunes run out when Clint comes into town to “clean up" a murder. Imbued with the same talent, Helen, in Washington DC, is haunted by Norma’s story and knows her own demise is coming up.

Los Angeles, May 1970 - Sandra Keane, a 22-year-old student at UCLA comes from a middle-class family. Her parent’s wanted her to major in something practical, like nursing. Secretly though, she switched into a music performance major and gigs around with friends. It’s the time of the Vietnam draft and many of her old friends have left but in LA, the hipster bell-bottoms, drugs and rock music are in full bloom. A big wig producer has invited Sandra’s band to his ranch to cut their first album. Her talent is uncanny but it’s an unseen force that makes her even more special when she rescue’s her friend in a tragic accident. There are forces and powers from long ago that seep into her existence, the same ones that begin to haunt Helen, in Washington DC, in 2012.

A curse that was cast in 1895 has haunted three woman through time and landed on Helen’s doorstep. Vivid dreams make her relive the lives of Juliet, Nora and Sandra and turns this riddling curse into a mystery she must solve in order to live beyond her 34th birthday. Entangled in the sticky web of a demon, she has to be clever and battle her ever-growing feelings for a man who has shared the miseries of each woman’s past, watching, helpless and deeply in love as they were followed by the destruction of the deadly curse.

In a culminating arch, one star crossed lover has to die to free the other. In an intimate moment never meant to be, hearts desire tragically ends the overwhelming love that began in 1895 most true and heart-wrenching.

***

Talk about traveling through time! This novel is not a brief affair. Each time period depicted is almost a novel in itself, rich in its historically detailed setting and character development. Though I did not anticipate such depth in the respected time periods, I found myself looking up events, actors, artists, and paintings mentioned. I especially adored the detailed descriptions of the Latin Quarter in Paris, which is where I love to stay on my visits for the myriad of art vendors, markets, restaurants, cobblestone streets and all over flair. This culminated undertaking of the novel is respectively huge in scope and it came together with the underlying bonds of the once cast spell, uniting time and characters most lingering and tragically beautiful.

Through a large portion of the book, the novel stays within the pov of Juliet and the inception of the curse. Unknowing the connection of events, Juliet’s life unfolds without her command in charge as she ends up in Paris, but is bound by constricting circles that have a hold on her most suffocating. The story picks up the pieces of her life and the loss of love and continues blended in succession with the other narratives, while Helen dreams about these events. The ultimate clues will come from Juliet’s life as the tellings are infused throughout the entirety of the novel and Helen’s new friend Luke Varner aids her in the realization of a connected past before her life will run out of time due to the curse.

Many events in time take part in this story, including those of Helen’s present. It took me some time to warm up with Helen as a character and her profession. She seemed more a matter of fact type personality at first but softened later on making her more relatable. I found Nora to be the bravest character with the most perseverance. Reading in her pov and spending time among the 1930’s glamorous movie stars was splendid as well as cutthroat.

The component of the curse with its bindings isn’t one that is understood right away but its meaning spreads like crumbs through the maze of narratives to figure out. Sometimes I could not decide if I was more fascinated by the settings and characters or the mystery of the curse in itself. Though I wasn’t let down by the end of the novel, I was certainly emotionally drained and left all stirred up.

When reading A Witch in Time you will receive more than you may have bargained for by looking at the beautiful cover. Its rewards lay in the strong historical details and engrossing events the characters navigate. With a bit of endurance, this is a uniquely rich novel to appreciate.

HAPPY READING :)
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This was an interesting book. I like Timeslip and Supernatural books so was excited after reading the synopsis of this book. While the past lives were interesting. I had a hard time connecting with Helen. The curse was a nice twist and I enjoyed the past lives more than the present one. I think that the premise is good and maybe if Helen was a bit more likeable it would have been more enjoyable.  I will look for more from Constance Sayers as the writing was good, and she has a wonderful imagination, 

Thanks to Redhook Books, Netgalley and the author for the chance to read this book for an honest review.
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To be honest l chose this book because I thought it would be more like outlander.  The only reason why I can’t give it more stars or a better review is that it just my kind of read.
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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of “A Witch in Time” by Constance Sayers. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

The premise for this book sounded really interesting, but I don’t feel like I got to read that book? Instead I read a story of a woman remembering different reincarnations of herself. Any witchy magic parts were largely shoved into the background in what was more like a mashup of different historical fiction books throughout the past lives.

There was so much info dumping that I skimmed large sections and didn’t miss anything about the plot. The past lives were more interesting than the present, but by the third past life I was just ready for the story to be over. 

I would not label this a romance at all. This was just not what I expected and it was not the book for me. 

I would also like to add trigger warnings as follows: rape, pedophilia, grooming, physical abuse/domestic violence, miscarriage, sterility as a curse.

2/5 stars
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Helen and Robert are heading for divorce. She almost always knew it would happen. Maybe they tried too hard to have a child. Anyway, he has a new woman in his life.
Helen has started having peculiar dreams. In her dreams she is different women. Juliet was her her first dream. Juliet is 15. She is to be married to the landowner's son. 
Her favorite thing is when their neighbor an acclaimed painter comes to his house in the summer. He gets her mother's permission to paint Juliet. That last summer their relationship goes much farther. When her mother finds out she is beyond angry. Juliet knew her mother was a healer. She didn't know she was a witch. She puts a curse on the painter to never be with Juliet. Since the mother doesn't really know how to cast spells. The curse ends up binding the painter and Juliet forever. 
When Juliet dies she comes back as Nora, when Nora dies she comes back as Sandra. Now she is Helen.
Through all her lives there has been one constant Luke. He has always been there to rescue her and help her into her next life.
Helen realizes that to break the curse she must kill Luke. She must hurry, her 34th Birthday is coming soon.
Intriguing,  in your face story! Titillating, exciting! You can't imagine what will happen on the next page!
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***Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.***

3.5 stars

The story itself was pretty good, but I couldn’t bring myself to like the main character.  She was to me very spoiled and selfish.  At around 80% of the book, I stopped caring what happened to the main character.  I did really enjoy reading about her previous lifetimes…for some reason, these characters were more real to me.
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I thought this story had very interesting premise, but at the end it just left me wanting more. All the past lives really annoyed me and I just skipped Sandra's part because I felt like they didn't add anything to overall plot. Really wished we focused more on the present heroine and the whole witch/magical aspect of the book. This book did have good things going for it: witch/demon "romance", past lives, and paranormal vibes but, they twiddled with all the back and forth between past present. And they ending just seemed really rushed and not resolved.
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I was really excited about the premise of this book but was a little disappointed in its execution.  Juliet's story is the main focus of the book, and she was the most annoying and not the most interesting out of the 4 reincarnations of the heroine.  I would have liked to see more of Nora and Helen and less of Juliet and Sandra. 
 Also, there was too much detail provided about too many inconsequential things.  As a DC resident, I appreciated a couple of the mentions of DC haunts, but they (and other details, like clothing labels, food, etc) were too numerous and added nothing to the story.  I also thought there were some plot gaps and inconsistencies in the mythology of how everything worked.  And poor Luke!  His life/lives sucked... and who didn't see his ending coming from a mile away?

3 stars for originality.

My thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC via netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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While I typically love stories on witches (fictionalized or true) this one was a bit harder for me to get into. It wasn't the story, because the synopsis was original and intriguing. It was the character I just couldn't get around. She wasn't very likable and rather young for this concept.
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I liked the concept and the characters. The book was well written and I enjoyed it immensely. I did feel like the end was a bit rushed and left a few unanswered questions. Nevertheless, it was a great read.
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Thanks to Netgalley, Redhook Books, and Constance Sayers for the opportunity to review A Witch in Time by providing me with an uncorrected proof. 4 stars from me! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Helen has lived many lives... she just doesn't know it yet. Newly divorced and reeling from the heartbreak of betrayal by her husband Roger, she starts dating. This is how she meets Luke, a stranger who is somehow utterly familiar to her. With his help, she begins piecing together her past lives. See, Helen has been cursed by her mother, of all people, to live out many lives, during which she relives a doomed relationship with Roger. During each of these lives, Luke appears to help her regain her memories and heal from the heartbreak... until her untimely death by age 34. Helen discovers that she began as Juliet, a muse to an artist named Marchant, who was a bit older than her. Her mother accidentally set her curse in motion when she became pregnant by him. Her life continues on as Nora, Sandra, and eventually, to Helen. In each of these lives, she deals with heartbreak at the hands of her lover and only then is shown her curse through the help of Luke, who is tasked with holding her to her punishment for eternity. She discovers a lot about her heritage and the reasoning behind her mother's actions. Her mother was a minor witch, able to do a little bit of magic-work here and there, and she slowly realizes that she has magic in her veins, as well.  

Man, I've had some Netgalley misses lately and this one REALLY made up for it. For those looking for an intricate magic system, don't look here. The magic in this was so subtle and lightly interjected into the plot. For the most part, our characters are seemingly normal people who got where they are by extraordinary circumstances... which just happen to involve magic. I liked that. I wasn't looking for a fantasy read, when I read this synopsis. I'm not sure WHAT I was expecting, maybe more of a historical fiction? It kind of defies most of the tags you would normally try to tag it as. It has romance and is definitely focused on multiple love stories, but it's not a steamy, breathless, bodice-ripping novel. It has magic, demons, witches... but it's not saturated with it. It's different from most things I've read and that really helped me race through this book.

Helen revisits all of her old lives through visions that start coming to her after her heartbreak. This could have gotten really stale if the author made us replay the same story over and over, but thankfully, each life was evolved from the last. Helen and Roger's past lives were always THEM, but different. Her heartbreak was always different, their lifestyles were always different, the way they reacted to their situation was always different, the way they die is always different, sometimes their sexual orientation was even different. They kept characteristics true to themselves though; he's always involved with art of some form, she always discovers an affinity for the piano, they both love each other to some degree despite the heartbreak. Throughout all of this, Luke helps Helen through all of her lives. Sometimes he makes things worse. Sometimes he helps her completely work through what Roger has done to her. Sometimes she hates Luke for the things he has done to help her. It was all kept very fresh and thus, was an extremely easy and enjoyable read. With each life we learned more about the backstory of how Juliet's mother could have possibly cursed her daughter this way. We learn about why Luke is in charge of holding Helen to her curse. Many things that seemed like plot holes in the beginning, tidied themselves up by the end. There were times that the writing of minor characters seemed a bit immature or undeveloped, but not often enough to discourage me from continuing. This never seemed much of an issue with the main characters, either. 

There are controversial themes: underage sexual relationships, forced child loss, rape. There are demons, witches, etc. Providing this as a trigger warning to anyone who prefers reads without this type of content. 

A Witch in Time will be available in February of 2020 for you to pick up. Well done, Constance Sayers.
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Aside from a few scenes that felt unnecessary, I enjoyed the story of Juliet/Nora/Sandra/Helen and had to know if she was able to break the curse! The historical details really enhanced the experience. Many thanks to Redhook Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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A Witch in Time is about doomed lovers, a large age difference, abuse and rape against women, a low opinion of middle aged women, and some supernatural thrown in.
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2012 Washington D.C. - After her divorce, Helen is set up on a blind date with Luke only to discover that their paths have crossed several times throughout history. In 1895, Helen was sixteen-year old Juliet LaCompte, a young woman who falls in love with a married painter Auguste Marchant. Juliet's mother, a witch, summons a demon to curse the painter and accidently binds Juliet, Merchant, and the demon to continually play out their ill-fated romance through time. Each time that Juliet is reborn she is doomed to fall in love with the reincarnation of Marchant, a romance destined to end in tragedy. Unless Helen can discover a way to break the curse, they will be forced to play out their tragic rolls until the end of time. 

A Witch in Time is a fantastic debut novel that takes two ill-fated lovers and a bound demon through time to play out their tragic roles as a failed curse fulfills its contract. Once Helen meets Luke she begins to remember her past lives in order. The first life begins in France in 1895 with Juliet, a young girl who sits for a married painter to help earn money for her family and becomes his lover. Her second life is Nora Wheeler, an aspiring actress from New York City. Set in 1932 we get look at the golden age of Hollywood and what it takes to make it as a star. She then returns as Sandra Keane, a young musician in a rock band during the 1970's Vietnam era where drugs, music, and war defined the nation. As Helen pieces together the stories of each of her past lives she searches for clues to break the curse once and for all. As Helen continues to revisit her history she learns more about herself and those who are cursed to share her fate. I really enjoyed this book and seeing how each of the lives played out differently. Luke's character is charming and often sarcastic in his roles but he has a soft side that makes him somewhat irresistible for a demon. I definitely recommend this novel as the perfect cozy up read for the New Year.
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In this story, a young woman is the muse of a painter in the late 19th century. Her mother casts a curse on them, which was supposed to separate them, but instead causes the relationship to be relived over and over again. There is a young woman, who falls for the wrong man, and an administrator who protects the woman...
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This book kind of grossed me out to be honest. There's a romance between a sixteen-year-old girl and a much older, married man. Enough said. 

Other than that, this book was described as being similar to Outlander, which was my initial motivation for reading it. Unfortunately, the writing was bland, the characters were one-dimensional and annoying, the present-day timeline happened so quickly that I had no sense of how fast time was passing, and the original romance between Juliet and Marchant was disgusting to me and made me feel uncomfortable. Compounded with the fact that the book was described as being about a passionate romance, but was actually just lust and completely creepy, I had no interest in this book soon after beginning it and did not enjoy reading at all.

I had very high hopes for this book, since it was described as being like Outlander and the plot summary seemed a bit like one of my other favorite books (Overseas by Beatriz Williams), but ultimately I was disappointed and more than a little uncomfortable.
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2.5 out of 5 stars

A Witch in Time is a story of a young witch, an artist and a demon cursed to be reborn over and over again to live out a doomed love affair. Once I heard the words witch, artist and demon - I was so there! I was so excited about this book and the cover is gorgeous.

Well this book was not what I expected. The characters were flat, one dimensional, the book jumped the shark in 3rd reincarnation and the ending was predictable.

My first problem with the book is the age gap between Merchant & Juliette. She’s 16 and he’s in his 30s with a wife and a kid on the way. Historically, I am aware that these things happened - but I honestly couldn’t get past the revulsion I felt when they had sex, or when he painted her nude. I don’t know but to me this is just pedophilia. They have a love affair, it happens in like 20 pages, like just happens, for purposes of the plot. It’s so unbelievable.

My second problem is that this book is VERY rape happy - why? Just to show that Juliette has a hard life. Juliette is to marry a young man who is cruel and abusive to save her family. It’s very Tess of the d’Umbervilles - a young woman, trying to save her family gets raped by the richer man, then she is disgraced and discarded like trash. Not to mention that once Juliette leaves - her younger sister marries this awful piece of trash and gets abused by him. WHY?! I felt so awful for the sister! Why didn’t Juliette ever help her?! She was only obsessed with herself - that’s why. Which brings us to why I dislike Juliette.

Then we have Juliette - a spoiled brat who never really grows up. The wold is just against her and she makes all of her own problems. And I understand, she’s still in her teens, but I just couldn’t care for her. Honestly, I couldn’t care for any of her reincarnations, like at all, and especially Hellen. WOW I have not disliked a character this much in a long time. She’s shallow, self-obsessed, self-important, and one dimensional. She only cares about what kind of designer she wears, what kind of party she attends/throws, who is present at this party, how it can benefit her, how her house looks - honestly she needs to be Instagram ready at all times. If I wanted to read about any of this - I’d pick up a Vogue, not a historical fiction book. And then Merchant (the artist) is just there to break her art and Luke (the demon) to pick up the pieces and put her back together.

The magic and the demon take up maybe like 10 pages total of this book. Basically what drew me to the book in the first place was not there.

And then there are descriptions like: “She turned to see a middle-aged woman with long hair and low breasts leaning against the doorway.” Why are her breasts mentioned in this? What’s the purpose of their description? I honestly don’t think this author likes women very much, what with all the rape, descriptions of saggy breasts and the misfortune that befalls them She likes them only if they’re wearing a 2013 Alexander McQueen gown at a gallery opening.

There are parts of the book I did enjoy: the way the curse worked with the administrator (if it was done better), Juliette’s mother’s back story, traveling through time and seeing Paris in the 19th century.

This could have been a great book, but instead it’s just a shallow piece of work that made me angry and depressed.
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Thanks net galley for the book in exchange for a review. 

I loved this!! I mean witches, a curse, rebirth? Yes PLEASE. This story navigates a young witch cursed to die in her 20s and be reborn. We read several lifetimes My dislikes were the repetitive elements in the book during the multiple life times. I also felt the main character was a little dumbed down, now this could be due to age but it made her borderline unlikeable.
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I received this e-arc from NetGalley and the author for an honest and unbiased review that is solely my own. 

The title and especially the cover are what caught my attention when I first saw this novel. The premise was icing on the cake. I want to preface by stating this is not like a young adult novel of curses, witches, demons and love. This isn’t even like Practical Magic level of witchery. This novel is a curse of revenge done by a lesser witch to “protect” her daughter but it backfires, ensnaring her daughter, the lover and a demon in a continual loop of repetition over lifetimes. We come in to the daughter’s life at a stage where she might have the tools and possible powers to break the curse. Don’t expect pages of magical spells and witchery. This is more a story of love. Think 50 First Dates meets Groundhog Day. 

Reliving the many lives of Helen and seeing each one merge into the other was captivating. I was engrossed in the forbidden and downright underage love of Juliet and Marchant. Hating and loving aspects of each new Helen as they grew and came into knowledge of their Groundhog Day type existence for each era.  I don’t want to mention too much of the characters because that will just give too much away. 

The author did a wonderful job of depicting each era and surrounding culture. She notes for the reader that historical and fictional incidents are woven throughout the story and edited to fit her tale. Though the story moves back and forth there was no confusion and it flows. I will say that there are some portions that seemed slightly rushed compared to reliving Juliet’s life but it doesn’t take too much away from the story. 

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a love story that crosses lifetimes. I also want to mention that there are incidents of rape, underage sex, physical abuse, drugs, overdose, forced abortion and demonic ritual.
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