The Witch In The Well
by Camilla Bruce
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Pub Date 04 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2022
Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Books
The Witch in the Well is a dark Norwegian thriller from Camilla Bruce, author of You Let Me In.
When two former friends reunite after decades apart, their grudges, flawed ambitions, and shared obsession swirl into an all-too-real echo of a terrible town legend.
Centuries ago, beautiful young Ilsbeth Clark was accused of witchcraft after several children disappeared. Her acquittal did nothing to stop her fellow townsfolk from drowning her in the well where the missing children were last seen.
When author and social media influencer Elena returns to the summer paradise of her youth to get her family's manor house ready to sell, the last thing she expected was connecting with—and feeling inspired to write about—Ilsbeth’s infamous spirit. The very historical figure that her ex-childhood friend, Cathy, has been diligently researching and writing about for years.
What begins as a fiercely competitive sense of ownership over Ilsbeth and her story soon turns both women’s worlds into something more haunted and dangerous than they could ever imagine.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 21 members
What a fun and creepy book! I absolutely love the main personalities in this story. One bitter and lonely recluse, one modern hippie hashtagger, and one frustrated spirit of a would-be witch. And the structure is great as well! All the material in this narrative comes from “written” sources — journals, letters, emails, books, and other documents. This makes it feel almost as though you are looking at primary sources and trying to solve the mysteries yourself.
The setting itself is eerie, a moldering “castle” of a house in the middle of a haunted Norwegian wood? Not going to be my choice for a relaxing getaway. The imagery and the overall vibes illustrated throughout this book were subtly chilling. I found the occult aspects of this story sufficiently creepy without being too gory or off-putting. The book is rather fast-paced, and the chapters are short.
I have not read any Camilla Bruce before, but I find myself included to pick up more of her books, as I really enjoyed this one.
Thank you to Camilla Bruce, Tor Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this ARC!
THIS WAS FUN. It's incredibly creepy, but soooo fresh and interesting. The plot was impeccable, imo. The characters left a bit to be desired, I really hated most of them. Not in a way that made reading this impossible, but in a "god they suck" sort of way. It's difficult to make miserable character work, and I think Bruce does just that. This was really interesting and kept me engaged throughout the whole thing, which is harder to do with every creepy little novel I pick up.
What a unique, chilling novel. Two former friends turned bitter rivals are both writing a novel about a local legend, a woman drowned as a witch. The story is told entirely through written sources such as letters, journal entries, emails, etc. A creepy Norwegian wood is the perfect backdrop for this unsettling novel.
This stunning, intense Norwegian thriller kept my full attention.
An absolutely compelling read… I absolutely loved this one… so compelling… a real page-turner…
I didn’t want it to end…
Her characters are fascinating beyond measure. And once I started reading this phenomenon of A story I couldn't stop myself!
This is my first Camilla Bruce, and now I need more of her!
Highly recommended, I truly enjoyed it.
“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my platforms, blog, B&N and Waterstone closer to pub date.
The Witch In The Well by Camilla Bruce is a great fiction that has mystery, suspense, and an overall dark amd creepy vibe that kept me up most nights trying to find put how it all ends.
The author does a great job in taking all of these pieces of a story from different sources (ie journals, emails, letters, media, correspondence) from different time periods and presents them all to a reader in such a way that we slowly are able to join them together to solve the puzzle. While the time to full realization was a slow trickle, the material, pacing, narrative, and complexity of the story was quick, engaging, and interesting.
The author created a world that balanced that line between real, human, and earthly against ethereal, magical, mystical, horror, and fantasy, The balance was just perfect. I thought I knew where this story was going as it unraveled with Ilsbeth, Elena, and. Cathy (Catherine), but I was definitely wrong. The twists were most certainly a surprise, and it was all wrapped up nicely.
Thank you NG and Tor Books (Macmillan/Tor-Forge for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 10/4/22.
I love the format of this book (emails, letters, journals). It made for a really fun reading experience. The story itself was great with nice twists along the way, and good well developed characters. I really look forward to reading more by Camilla Bruce!
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