White Is for Witching
Published by Nan A. Talese
“Miranda is at home — homesick, home sick…”
As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. The death of her mother when Miranda is sixteen exacerbates her condition; nothing, however, satisfies a strange hunger passed down through the women in her family. And then there’s the family house in Dover, England, converted to a bed-and-breakfast by Miranda’s father. Dover has long been known for its hostility toward outsiders. But The Silver House manifests a more conscious malice toward strangers, dispatching those visitors it despises. Enraged by the constant stream of foreign staff and guests, the house finally unleashes its most destructive power.
With distinct originality and grace, and an extraordinary gift for making the fantastic believable, Helen Oyeyemi spins the politics of family and nation into a riveting and unforgettable mystery.
I made the mistake of reading this on my nook. It just doesn’t work. It might not have worked on paper, either, but at least I would’ve been able to flip back and forth in the beginning when I was having a hell of a time figuring out all of the different narrators. Especially the house. Yes, the house is a narrator, too. Not that there’s anything wrong with a house narrating a story. I mean, really, I have a goat as a blogging buddy, I can handle a house. But the thing is, it wasn’t that clear that it was the house speaking. Heck, it wasn’t even that clear who Ore was for a long time, and she was a person. It took me about halfway through the book before I finally knew who everyone was and what was going on.
So, note to self: always read Oyeyemi in print, like you did the first time (The Icarus Girl), when you actually liked what she wrote.
Note to readers: If you’re not into creepy, Shirley Jackson-like tales, and you don’t like experimental fiction, skip this puppy. And if you do read it, don’t read it on an e-reader.