This novel is a delightful mix of hopeful, creepy, and feminist. Meet Annie, a young, recently single teacher who has moved out of New York City to a small village upstate. Annie starts to pick up her life and rediscover herself at the same time she befriends Sophie, a young witchy woman who is well-known in their village. Sophie is mysterious and confident, two things that Annie strives to be. Throughout their friendship, Sophie encourages Annie to stand up for herself and take charge. Along the way, Annie begins to notice there is something odd about Sophie. With a thrilling twist, this novel demonstrates the power of female friendship and self-confidence.
This is such an artfully done psychological horror novel that though I felt like reading it in one go, I had to periodically put it down. It's a spine-tingling, horrifying, moving, emotional ride. Even when I thought I knew what was going on, the novel took me to a different place (do not peek at the afterword, you will be spoiled!). Catriona Ward is definitely a must-read horror writer.