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THE WITCHES OF MOONSHYNE MANOR by Bianca Marais

A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.

Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby–one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years–will surely be their salvation.

But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.

The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.

Funny, tender and uplifting, the novel explores the formidable power that can be discovered in aging, found family and unlikely friendships. Marais’ clever prose offers as much laughter as insight, delving deeply into feminism, identity and power dynamics while stirring up intrigue and drama through secrets, lies and sex. Heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.


Title : The Witches of Moonshyne Manor
Author : Bianca Marais
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 400
Genre : paranormal / fantasy
Publisher : Mira Books
Release Date : August 23, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 3 star review

I’ll admit, I picked this up purely for the title. I had no idea what to expect — except that I hoped for some spoopy vibes! — and was surprised that this witchy tale was to be comprised of a coven of eighty year olds. Not only battling age and aches but also trying to keep from being run out of their homes by the local townspeople after they’ve a) fallen behind on mortgage payments and b) are widely known to be witches.

Sounds like a hoot, right? And it mostly is.

I didn’t always love the writing/narrative tone and actually found that it felt a little too removed for me to really sink my teeth into things as a reader. I enjoyed how the plot and the events that happened in the past informed the present but it was hard to connect to any real emotional resonance with the characters. I found them interesting, occasionally funny, and in one case my heart wanted to break over and over, but again, I just felt a bit too distanced from it all. But there were multiple times I paused to reflect on a passage or observation, I absolutely loved that these old biddies had a colourful past and had successfully done a heist in their fifties, and I also enjoyed how everything resolves at the end — even if it’s almost a little too perfectly wrapped up.

She thinks of how sometimes the most sacred conversations we’ll ever have are the ones that require no words, and how there are very few people in our lives who we’ll ever speak that silent language with.

At it’s core, this is a story about family and sisterhood and the ties that bind, come hell or high water or an angry mob. If you’re looking for a wholesome kind of spoopy tale, with some incredibly insightful lines, and some pretty unique characters, this is definitely one to pick up.

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