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The Witches of Willowmere

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Whenever Claire passes by Willowmere, she is intrigued by the beauty and exoticism of the estate, so out of place in the small town where she lives. There is something oddly familiar about the eccentric old house, with its widow’s walk, gingerbread trim and lofty turret. Willowmere’s owner, Dr. Myra Moore, is equally fascinating. She tells Claire about the Wiccan belief sy Whenever Claire passes by Willowmere, she is intrigued by the beauty and exoticism of the estate, so out of place in the small town where she lives. There is something oddly familiar about the eccentric old house, with its widow’s walk, gingerbread trim and lofty turret. Willowmere’s owner, Dr. Myra Moore, is equally fascinating. She tells Claire about the Wiccan belief system, which is not about dark spells and magic (as some of Claire’s classmates seem to believe), but rather about affirming the goodness of the earth and all living things. Claire begins to read about witchcraft and natural magic on her own, trying to understand what truth may lie within its ancient lore and wondering if it can help solve the mystery that torments her: Why did her mother leave so abruptly three years ago? And where has she gone? Claire treasures her new friendship, but she can’t shake the strange feeling that Myra is holding something back from her. And although she loves visiting Willowmere, she is haunted by the feeling that ancient events have pushed their way to the present and are beckoning her. Why is she having such strange and terrifying dreams? Why does she feel drawn to the portrait of Myra’s ancestor Alice Ramsay? Could Alice really have been a white witch? As she struggles to uncover and understand the powers of both good and evil, Claire is drawn towards the past, to the witch trials of the 17th century, and must battle unexpected adversaries in the present. All the while, she searches for the true story behind her mother’s disappearance, hoping her new-found knowledge and power will bring them together again.


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Whenever Claire passes by Willowmere, she is intrigued by the beauty and exoticism of the estate, so out of place in the small town where she lives. There is something oddly familiar about the eccentric old house, with its widow’s walk, gingerbread trim and lofty turret. Willowmere’s owner, Dr. Myra Moore, is equally fascinating. She tells Claire about the Wiccan belief sy Whenever Claire passes by Willowmere, she is intrigued by the beauty and exoticism of the estate, so out of place in the small town where she lives. There is something oddly familiar about the eccentric old house, with its widow’s walk, gingerbread trim and lofty turret. Willowmere’s owner, Dr. Myra Moore, is equally fascinating. She tells Claire about the Wiccan belief system, which is not about dark spells and magic (as some of Claire’s classmates seem to believe), but rather about affirming the goodness of the earth and all living things. Claire begins to read about witchcraft and natural magic on her own, trying to understand what truth may lie within its ancient lore and wondering if it can help solve the mystery that torments her: Why did her mother leave so abruptly three years ago? And where has she gone? Claire treasures her new friendship, but she can’t shake the strange feeling that Myra is holding something back from her. And although she loves visiting Willowmere, she is haunted by the feeling that ancient events have pushed their way to the present and are beckoning her. Why is she having such strange and terrifying dreams? Why does she feel drawn to the portrait of Myra’s ancestor Alice Ramsay? Could Alice really have been a white witch? As she struggles to uncover and understand the powers of both good and evil, Claire is drawn towards the past, to the witch trials of the 17th century, and must battle unexpected adversaries in the present. All the while, she searches for the true story behind her mother’s disappearance, hoping her new-found knowledge and power will bring them together again.

30 review for The Witches of Willowmere

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laura Lynn

    Rating: 3.5/5 I wasn't quite sure where the plot was going, but toward the end of the first book in this trilogy it became clear what is happening to the character in relation to witches and magic. I found the main character a bit immature, but I tend to find younger characters (i.e. in high school) that way lately in YA. The book ended on a cliffhanger, so I'm interest to see how the plot continues into the next book. Rating: 3.5/5 I wasn't quite sure where the plot was going, but toward the end of the first book in this trilogy it became clear what is happening to the character in relation to witches and magic. I found the main character a bit immature, but I tend to find younger characters (i.e. in high school) that way lately in YA. The book ended on a cliffhanger, so I'm interest to see how the plot continues into the next book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    Oh my- words cannot express how much I LOVED this book. And I had it for years now- just never got to reading it. Now to find the other two!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Plato's daemonen wezens vrij van ruimte & tijd zien door onze ogen horen door onze oren onze wereld hun speelterrein onze dromen hun werkelijkheid De Willowmere Kronieken zijn uitgegeven midden jaren 2000 en golfden nog mee op de uitlopers van de hele wicca-rage die op de millenniumwisseling de jeugd (vooral in de VS) in zijn greep hield. In tegenstelling tot een heel aantal andere wicca-boeken (ik denk aan Nachtmerries Zijn Blauw van Laurie Stolz… ehm, Dinges en De Cirkel van Cate Tiernan), is dí Plato's daemonen wezens vrij van ruimte & tijd zien door onze ogen horen door onze oren onze wereld hun speelterrein onze dromen hun werkelijkheid De Willowmere Kronieken zijn uitgegeven midden jaren 2000 en golfden nog mee op de uitlopers van de hele wicca-rage die op de millenniumwisseling de jeugd (vooral in de VS) in zijn greep hield. In tegenstelling tot een heel aantal andere wicca-boeken (ik denk aan Nachtmerries Zijn Blauw van Laurie Stolz… ehm, Dinges en De Cirkel van Cate Tiernan), is dít wel een reeks waar ik écht van hou. Geweldig, want wicca heeft mij altijd erg aangesproken. Dit boek is echt een pareltje. Toen ik op mijn twaalfde weer begon te lezen, was dit de eerste boekenreeks waar ik echt van ondersteboven was. Ik lees die boeken echt elk jaar opnieuw, soms zelfs wel meerdere keren per jaar. Mensen die de reeks nú pas zouden lezen, zouden waarschijnlijk kritischer zijn dan ik toen. Er zitten een paar vreemde dingen in, inhoudelijk, die je ofwel als foreshadowing ofwel als vreemde chronologie kunt beschouwen, en je merkt ook wel een beetje dat er zaken zijn die stilaan uit de mode zijn. Maar toen was dat nog niet zo, natuurlijk (YA bestond nog niet eens), en ik stoor me er nog steeds niet aan. Wat dit verhaal heeft, is een ijzersterk hoofdpersonage, een paar knappe nevenpersonages, een verhaallijn waar ik compleet verzot op ben, en een goeie vertaling. Fanneke Cnossen laat hier en daar wel een paar schoonheidsfoutjes staan (en de redactie ook), maar met een boek van dit niveau word ik zo in het verhaal gezogen dat ik daar geen last van heb. Alleen altijd dat 'gelijk' in de betekenis van 'meteen/direct', daar word ik gek van. Claire zelf - de hoofdpersoon dus - is echt geweldig. Ze is zestien en heel volwassen voor haar leeftijd, dat is wel duidelijk. Dat zijn ook de beste personages. Zeker als je deze reeks meerdere keren leest, merk je hoe ze langzamerhand in de hele wereld van wicca en (view spoiler)[reïncarnatie (hide spoiler)] meegetrokken en ondergedompeld wordt. In 222 bladzijdes tijd wordt ze een heel ander persoon, en die verandering wordt heel geleidelijk aan door het boek verspreid. In het begin is ze misschien niet het meest likeable personage dat je je kunt voorstellen, maar je gaat je aan haar hechten. Ik dan toch. Ze heeft een erg sterke wil, en eens ze uiteindelijk ergens haar tanden in vastbijt, laat ze ook niet meer los. Je merkt aan de andere personages dat het een Amerikaans boek is. Er is duidelijk sprake van kliekvorm, met de populaire meiden (Mimi en de Chelseas) en dan de ehhhh iets minder populaire meiden. Dit boek dateert natuurlijk nog uit de tijd dat lezen, videogamen en dergelijke not done waren en het woord 'nerd' niet al te positief bedoeld is. Wat dat betreft is het ook altijd leuk om van die oudere boeken te lezen: dan zie je meteen weer eens waar je - we - vandaan komen. Die hele tegenstelling tussen populair of niet is erg tof weergegeven in dit boek, vooral omdat je je al klaarmaakt bij Mimi & Co. dat ze superirritant zijn, maar ze zijn eigenlijk erg grappig (en raar). Een van mijn meest geliefde en gekoesterde boeken(reeksen) die ondertussen al ruim tien jaar in mijn kast staat, en ik krijg er nooit genoeg van. Een absolute aanrader. 10+/10. Ik wilde dat ik meer kon geven.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kereesa

    At first, when I finished rereading this book, I was like "yeah, alright, let's make a reservation at the library and keep reading, I wanna find out more." Because, let's be honest, the book does leave you at a high-so many exciting things happen, Claire has obviously changed, and we can get down to the fun stuff. Right? But then I read this review and saw a bit of a pattern. Things only get exciting near the last 50 pages? Everything before is a meandering runaround? Yeah, sounds like the book At first, when I finished rereading this book, I was like "yeah, alright, let's make a reservation at the library and keep reading, I wanna find out more." Because, let's be honest, the book does leave you at a high-so many exciting things happen, Claire has obviously changed, and we can get down to the fun stuff. Right? But then I read this review and saw a bit of a pattern. Things only get exciting near the last 50 pages? Everything before is a meandering runaround? Yeah, sounds like the book I just read. And it kind of made me realize the only reason I was interested in reading the sequel was because I expected the set-up to be over and because the ending convinced me the best was yet to come. And, yes, I realize one shouldn't judge things by reviews or other people's opinions because you should experience the world for itself. But that review did really make me wake up and see my problems with this book. And sometimes you need that sort of thing to help you figure out what you want to say. So thank you review. I cancelled my reservation. I'd rather spend my time finding a better book for me to read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dee

    While I absolutely loved Alison Baird's The Hidden World, this book didn't leave me quite as excited or satisfied. It covers some very interesting topics relating to witchcraft, including folklore and mythology worldwide, but I felt like something was missing somehow, because it wasn't especially exciting to read, just sort of interesting. I can't quite put finger on why - the characters, the pace of the story, the plotline... they all felt a bit subpar. That being said, I see some potential for While I absolutely loved Alison Baird's The Hidden World, this book didn't leave me quite as excited or satisfied. It covers some very interesting topics relating to witchcraft, including folklore and mythology worldwide, but I felt like something was missing somehow, because it wasn't especially exciting to read, just sort of interesting. I can't quite put finger on why - the characters, the pace of the story, the plotline... they all felt a bit subpar. That being said, I see some potential for the other books in the series to go further and expand upon the story in a more exciting way (the ending was a bit of a cliffhanger!). While I won't go looking to buy it online or anything, I will keep it on my radar when I check out used books - i wouldn't mind giving the next book in the series a chance.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Margo

    Voor de tweede keer gelezen. Leest lekker en vlot weg. Wat ik erg leuk vond in het herlezen is dat er 'stiekem' veel werd uitgelegd en dat viel me nu meer op, zoals een beetje algemene geschiedenis en filosofie. Voor de tweede keer gelezen. Leest lekker en vlot weg. Wat ik erg leuk vond in het herlezen is dat er 'stiekem' veel werd uitgelegd en dat viel me nu meer op, zoals een beetje algemene geschiedenis en filosofie.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    This book blends the many practical but magical side of Wicca, we have Claire as our main character, a logical girl, that mostly likes to keep to herself. Being thrown into magic and mystery, and a past that she needs to put the puzzle pieces back together. I found this book deeply intriguing, I didn't want to put it down!~ the character is well-rounded and oddly the pacing for her recollection isn't too quick, Alison Baird makes both Claire's story and her past life story both interesting and m This book blends the many practical but magical side of Wicca, we have Claire as our main character, a logical girl, that mostly likes to keep to herself. Being thrown into magic and mystery, and a past that she needs to put the puzzle pieces back together. I found this book deeply intriguing, I didn't want to put it down!~ the character is well-rounded and oddly the pacing for her recollection isn't too quick, Alison Baird makes both Claire's story and her past life story both interesting and molded well enough to continue reading. Anyone who loves a story about witches or just the bases of Wicca itself, would adore reading this gem. Though sometimes it did feel like it needed to be sped up a bit, but the intrigue was high enough that the slow times felt fine. One of the first Witch books I read and I was not disappointed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    I think this was a pretty nice book. I bought it in a library sale, and I instantly liked the cover, so I picked it up. This is my first witch book by the way, so I don't have anything to compare with... I thought the beginning was a bit long and slow, but that did not irritate me. I liked the fact that you get to know Claire by heart. You really get insight in her personality, and her way of thinking. It is obvious that she does not believe in witches and that is what makes this story nice. In I think this was a pretty nice book. I bought it in a library sale, and I instantly liked the cover, so I picked it up. This is my first witch book by the way, so I don't have anything to compare with... I thought the beginning was a bit long and slow, but that did not irritate me. I liked the fact that you get to know Claire by heart. You really get insight in her personality, and her way of thinking. It is obvious that she does not believe in witches and that is what makes this story nice. In the end she finally understands that witches and witchcraft does exist and that she is a reincarnation of a powerfull witch, who lived centuries ago, named Alice. You also get a very clear image of Alice, which I like. Overall I like this book, but a little bit more action in the beginning would have been nice, but it is a good read :)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina Wannet

    tweede keer dat ik dit boek las, en nog steeds bleef ik me verbazen. het verhaal begint met een meisje in schotland en gaat daarna heen en weer tussen schotland en het plaatsje willowmere. Het is een verhaal over een meisje die zo'n beetje is als als het niet is bewezen bestaat het niet, dus erg standvastig. Dan wordt ze lastig gevallen door een meisje Josie die aan magie doet en een witte rat als deamon heeft samen met haar vriendje maakt ze het leven van claire tot een hel tot er onverklaarbar tweede keer dat ik dit boek las, en nog steeds bleef ik me verbazen. het verhaal begint met een meisje in schotland en gaat daarna heen en weer tussen schotland en het plaatsje willowmere. Het is een verhaal over een meisje die zo'n beetje is als als het niet is bewezen bestaat het niet, dus erg standvastig. Dan wordt ze lastig gevallen door een meisje Josie die aan magie doet en een witte rat als deamon heeft samen met haar vriendje maakt ze het leven van claire tot een hel tot er onverklaarbare dingen in haar leven gebeuren.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary-Beth

    This was a pretty good book. I just picked it up on a whim. I liked Myra Moore and her house was fabulous. I like the way the mystery stays mysterious to Claire for so long, not because she's dense as a brick, but because she doesn't want to believe in magic of any sort; she's a rationalist. The bits and pieces of the past that are interspersed in the novel could be a bit tiresome, but they were short and after awhile they started to become more interesting. This was a pretty good book. I just picked it up on a whim. I liked Myra Moore and her house was fabulous. I like the way the mystery stays mysterious to Claire for so long, not because she's dense as a brick, but because she doesn't want to believe in magic of any sort; she's a rationalist. The bits and pieces of the past that are interspersed in the novel could be a bit tiresome, but they were short and after awhile they started to become more interesting.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This is the first book in the Willowmere Chronicles. It follows the life of teenager CLaire as she discovers she is the reincarnation of a powerful shamaness. Her discovery only happens in the final pages of the book, which were also the most interesting. It took me a few days to get through this one because I just wasnt captivated enough. I would like to check out more in the series though - just to see if anything more interesting happens now that Claire knows who she is.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth De Marco

    I enjoyed this book. I found it atmospheric, well researched, full of fun animals. I would have given it 4 stars, but what held me back was some of the characters voices were a little lame. what teenager says 'good grief' or 'nice illusion Josie, you should take that act to vegas"? I enjoyed this book. I found it atmospheric, well researched, full of fun animals. I would have given it 4 stars, but what held me back was some of the characters voices were a little lame. what teenager says 'good grief' or 'nice illusion Josie, you should take that act to vegas"?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cereus

    spoilers below Claire's great. She's smart and likable. Her discovery of the Other/magic world is slow, but ultimately very rewarding for the reader. I love the commentary Claire makes along the journey and the historical aspects of the back story regarding her past lives, etc. spoilers below Claire's great. She's smart and likable. Her discovery of the Other/magic world is slow, but ultimately very rewarding for the reader. I love the commentary Claire makes along the journey and the historical aspects of the back story regarding her past lives, etc.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sandie Sandholm

    Only mildly interesting and very slow-paced throughout the entire book. However, the end did make me want to see what happens next, so I guess I will give the next book a chance at some point.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A friend who was reading it, lent it to me. At the time I enjoyed it, but re-reading it, it's not the same. A friend who was reading it, lent it to me. At the time I enjoyed it, but re-reading it, it's not the same.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Novalynda Black

    Ik heb beter gelezen...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    http://community.livejournal.com/genr... http://community.livejournal.com/genr...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Ferrante

    Witches, shamans, and wiccans, all encountered and explained in great detail. A suspenseful story of a high-school student trying to steer her way through it all.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

    I just picked this up for a light read and really enjoyed it. I liked the plot and the style of writing that Alison Baird has. I will continue with this series for sure.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    The first novel in a trilogy about witchcraft.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Average fantasy. Don't remember much of this book. Average fantasy. Don't remember much of this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lana

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ceara

  25. 4 out of 5

    mary G

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anna 'Bookbuyer'

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

  28. 4 out of 5

    Zarwah

  29. 5 out of 5

    Belelle

  30. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

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