Cover Image: A Lullaby for Witches

A Lullaby for Witches

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Member Reviews

This was a good gothic story although a little far-fetched, but  aren’t all ghost stories? This is not my typical genre but I definitely enjoyed it. It ran in two time lines, 1870’s and the present. The narrative flowed. It was an easy, quick read with a love story ( or 2) thrown in. Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Started off fair then went downhill for me toward the end. Didn't care much for the characters, especially the witch. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
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Great book.  I enjoyed the characters, although I wasn't a fan of Augusta not eating.  If there needed to be a link as to why Margaret thought she was taking on a life being wasted there should have been a different reason created.
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This is a wonderful engrossing story that transports the reader into the marvelous world of the nineteenth century Massachusetts and present day Agusta.  Told with dual timelines it is a marvelous story of two empowered women , their magical gifts and the story behind their lives as they mesh together by circumstances of present day and history.  I loved the riveting characterizations and the atmospheric settings of this story. The author has created  a story that has gothic feel,, present day mysteries and a bit of magic in between the lives of these two strong women charcters. It is a book I highly recommend and enjoyed cover to cover.  A excellent read to sweep you away and immerse yourself into this fascinating story. 

Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher. My review opinions are my own,
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This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers.

By @hesterbfox

Pub Date 01 Feb 2022

Thanks to @graydonhousebooks and 
@Harpercollins  @htpbooks 

Hester Fox ‘s newest book A Lullaby for Witches is splendid dual time periods interweaving a gothic and contemporary paranormal tale. Moving between present and 19th century Tynemouth, Massachusetts. Margaret Harlowe a witch in her own right, along with Augusta Podos a quiet and shy curator at the Harlowe House, which happens to the Witch Margaret’s ancestral home.

When strange hallucinations start to happen to Augusta, she finds herself pulled more and more into Margaret’s past life and what became of her. 
Fox continues to give lush gothic historical east coast atmospheric imagery. Her writing grabs you and her characters are easy to root for. The book moves effortlessly from present to past, and I have to say I enjoyed both characters and time periods equally. 

#alullabyforwitches #arcs #advancedreaderscopy #gothichorror #histfic #spookybooks #halloweenreads #witchfiction #witchyvibes #witchbooks #spookyseason #graydonhousebooks
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This book hooked me from it's first chapter and did not slow down or ease up at any point. The historical fiction was immersive and atmospheric, I loved simply reading about how Margaret and her family lived in their 17th century home. I thought the witchy haunting aspect was so creepy and I was extremely invested in Margaret's story.  

The only thing that kept me from giving this book five stars was the ending. It felt so rushed to me, like there was this giant build up to a very simple ending. But overall I enjoyed this book and I am really looking forward to whatever Hester Fox does next.

Many thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a free e-copy in exchange for my honest review. I gave this book 4 stars on my goodreads!
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With that blurb, I couldn’t resist. What has the gothic author created for us this time?

The story is told by two voices. One in the present, Augusta Podos, and one in the past, Margaret Harlowe. Their stories are linked across time.

Margaret was born into a time when her wealthy and oh so concerned about their reputations parents could not figure out why she was so different. Wandering the woods at all hours. Women showing up for help. What was going on with her? She had three brothers and none of them seemed odd. At the time. People kept away from her. The word “witch” was mumbled a lot.

In the present time, Augusta is plodding along in a job she isn’t crazy about and living with Chris who she isn’t sure if she is crazy about. But when she is offered a job at Harlow House, she runs to it! And while the art and archives are there very little is written about Margaret. One small portrait could be her and soon Augusta is obsessed with finding out everything she can about her.

Which is fine with Margaret. Oh, yes, Margaret is still at her house. Waiting for Augusta to come. Augusta is positive Margaret is trying to communicate with her but isn’t sure why. But Margaret has old scores to settle and she will not let anyone get in her way.

There is nothing better than a good ghost story. And this one had a few twists I never saw coming. This was one of those books you don’t want to end.

Great Job!

NetGalley February 1st, 2022 by Graydon House
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A LULLABY FOR WITCHES is a messy stew of a book.  It has the framework for a great story and about half of the necessary elements; unfortunately it is missing big pieces of information and has characters engaged in behavior that make no sense for them or their time.  So, it’s a mixed bag.  I read it avidly, but was often disappointed and frustrated.  Rather than hash out the details in this review, let me just say, the tale has some glaring holes that aren’t well explained. Author Hester Fox has a keen sense of place and describes settings well. She tends to put too much into the story rather than develop her points well and the book suffers for it.  I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for providing a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This is the perfect read to get you in the Halloween spirit! A good witchy story but not so scary that it will keep you up at night. The characters are interesting and well-developed, and the plot keeps you guessing. The setting of a small Massachusetts town is the perfect backdrop to this story, and Hester Fox deftly handled the time transitions to keep you interested without forgetting what events were occurring on each timeline. I will enthusiastically recommend this book, especially with a nice hot beverage on a chilly fall day!
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My first experience with Hester Fox was her debut, and it was a solid three star read for me.  Based on A Lullaby for Witches, Fox's work has only improved.  I loved this book.  I was 100% engaged from the beginning, and I loved to see the character growth and development throughout the book.  Excellent read for the Halloween season!
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Perfect read for October if you like witchy novels! Augusta is a museum worker in a dead end job with a dead boyfriend when she sees the job advertisement for Harlowe House. She's a perfect fit for the work and would finally be using her degree. But when she starts to work there, strange things start to happen--she connects with Margaret, a young woman who lived in the House years ago. This is a typical historical fiction with a mystery until the very end when a bit of supernatural creeps in--but it worked for me!
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There is an aesthetic to Fox's work that has permeated her darkly romantic gothic tales to date. With Lullaby for Witches, the paranormal penchant for "things that go bump in the night" is a perfect manifestation of feminist power exercised in two decidedly different women who never seem to fit the sleeves of their collective experiences and told in Fox's gorgeous, surprising prose.

Few split time authors spin a yarn as competently as Fox--who recognizes that any theme that echoes from the past must be made whole in the contemporary time frame: no matter the twists and turns.

Obviously a student of Dickens and Poe, Fox's romantic nature is at wonderful play here as she ties a fantastical bow across centuries and paints her atmospheric Harlowe House with magical prowess. This is an author who loves history and architecture; but this is also an author who loves the stories that bind and teach us. While I mostly find dual-time narratives a chance to leaf through the present to read and sink into the past, Fox's pacing and deeply drawn characters ensure there is a wonderful balance to both time periods. I am eager to see where she takes us next.

hosting Hester on fb live Thurs October 21
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Thanks to NetGalley for this advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Crossing the centuries, A Lullaby for Witches explores the lost history of women and a historian trying to unearth the mysteries in an old house, and old portrait, and artifacts that seem magical in her hands.

The novel is set, of course, in a fictional town close to Salem, Massachusetts, the unofficial year round witch central. The characters are fictional but easily imagined and not far away from what I learned growing up in Massachusetts myself. I placed the characters in my own knowledge of the area and could visualize the houses, having been in many historical homes in the area.  The novel would be appreciated by anyone who is a casual genealogist or historian…imaging the old documents or artifacts and the people who may have used them. The story itself has slow points and even some cornier spots when it imagines the witchcraft aspects, but once halfway in the book’s pace improves and had me flipping pages rapidly until the end.

I would recommend this in book club and to my patrons who would love a great October read.
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This latest book from Hester Fox was really different from her others, and I thought it worked really well. I was hesitant at first - the narration goes back and forth between past and present, and I really love the historical time periods of her previous books - but even the present day timeline is steeped in a love of history. It was almost like watching a mystery play out, and I was thoroughly intrigued by picking up details and learning more as the story unfolds.

There were so many Easter eggs for previous novels!! I absolutely loved that, as will any Fox Fan 😁 I am so excited for the paperback to come out because I’m eager to reread all of the books back-to-back and see it all intertwine. 

Thank you to Hester Fox, Harlequin, and netgalley for provided me an ARC to read early. I just couldn’t wait!!
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This story is told through the perspective of two women, one in the past and one in the present. Augusta Pordos is a twenty something not living her best life. She’s in a dead end relationship and working a job that sucks the life out of her. She accepts the offer of her dream job at Harlowe House, a historic home of a wealthy family that has been turned into a museum in Tynemouth, Massachusetts. Augusta begins to feel a connection to the house and finds an oblique reference to a long forgotten daughter of the Harlowes. Augusta begins researching about the women of the late 1800’s for a new exhibit, but her focus is mainly on discovering who Margaret Harlowe was and why she was practically erased from history. In the past we discover that Margaret was the only daughter of a prominent shipping family. She was free-spirited and never seem to fit in with her family nor the townspeople. Margaret was a natural when concocting spells and potions, but this does not go unnoticed and soon the townspeople are calling her a “witch”. Augusta feels a connection to Margaret and begins to have visions as if she is Margaret. She desperately wants to help find closure for the ill-fated Margaret, but she doesn't realize that Margaret may want something that is too high a price to pay. This was a quick read with interesting characters, a touch of history, and a blooming love story. The descriptions of the New England towns have me wanting to book a trip soon! Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin Trading Publishing - Graydon House, and author Hester Fox for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This book takes a dual timeline and uniquely weaves the two separate times, and the two main characters together. The writing was very well done and the characters were well developed. Supernatural doings in an old historic town, witches, and women taking control of their lives is a wonderful combination.
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Perfect read for this spooky season! Witches are always in season. This novel includes lush descriptions that transports you to New England and you time travel with the story arc. Sinister and spooky, this novel is hard to put down. No spoilers but a twist awaits!
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While I was excited about the premise, this book was a bit of a mixed-bag for me.  

I really liked some aspects of the story.  Digging into New England history, witches, Salem and women ditching their loser boyfriends.  Some of the narrative was interesting and the writing itself was solid providing vivid imagery and a definite sense of the setting.

That said, I found the characters to be uninspiring.  I didn’t feel like the reader ever really got to know the characters, and the motivations for their actions seemed more like fodder to progress the narrative than organic parts of the story.  The clues dropped along the way wrap up very fast, and not very neatly, given the time it takes for Augusta to piece them all together. Lots of coincidental events and hand waving away the impact the supernatural occurrence would have on the characters real, modern lives make it hard to swallow even with the healthy suspension of disbelief that such books require. 

All together, good idea, but the book felt shallow and rushed.
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This was just what I was expecting in a witchy novel by Fox. Augusta takes a job at an old house in Massachusetts that has been turned into a museum. While researching the family she starts to have these odd encounters and visions. She has also discovered one of the previous family members, Margaret Harlow, has no record on file. This really gets her digging deeper. Augusta ends up getting to know Margaret then she would have liked. 
This was really fun! Fox has a way of writing that is just the right amount of spooky for me! Highly recommend this one!! Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this advanced copy. My opinions are my own.
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A Lullaby for Witches is a great new twist on both haunted house stories and split-timeline historical fiction. It follows Augusta, a mild-mannered museum worker yearning for more meaning in her life, as she begins to unravel the secrets of her new workplace and finds herself entangled in a 150-year-old quest for revenge. 

In 1870s Tynemouth, the beautiful and tempestuous Margaret Harlowe, the only daughter of a wealthy Massachusetts shipping dynasty, seeks solace in nature and hones her hidden skill for magic. She runs an underground operation distributing herbs, advice, and occasionally spells to local women, but longs for more meaningful companionship. She falls fast and hard for a local shopkeeper, but their love story is doomed from the start. 

In the present-day, Augusta Podos finds herself stuck in a dead-end relationship and wasting away at a mind-numbing tour guide job in Salem. When the opportunity to work at a historic house in Tynemouth arises, she jumps at the chance. As she combs through the archives, pages through local history books, and wanders through the creaky house, she begins to glimpse flashes of the past. The longer Augusta spends in the house, the greater Margaret's power grows, and soon the two women are irreversibly intertwined. 

[4/5: A spooky story about womens' agency, legacy, and tenacity. Would appeal to fans of classic witchy stories as well as those looking for a fresh take on the genre.]

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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