Synopsis: Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship–or an early grave.
Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with six months to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate stars scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood — not even from each other.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was first drawn to Born Wicked by Jessica Spotwood, because of the cover. I pined and pined for this book for so long. I wasn’t lucky enough to receive and ARC, but that’s okay. Once I was finally able to purchase a book for my very own, it was well worth the wait.
Born Wicked takes place in 1870 New England, in an alternate history of the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood. In a world where witches are strictly forbidden and exiled from society, or worse, punished by death. For Cate Cahill, and her sisters Maura and Tess, a change in their household turns their lives upside down. Surprises and mystery are in store for Cate, and not all of them pleasant.
Cate, to me, was the head of the household. Even though her father is still alive, he is absent from their lives for long periods of time. It must have been hard to be in her shoes, trying to protect who they are, as well as provide for whatever they needed. At times, I felt like Cate advantage of, other times I felt that she allowed herself to become a pushover. But I related and connected to her, on many levels.
Born Wicked‘s world was one of the best things about this story. The historical imagery reaffirms my love of the period lifestyle, from the clothing to the culture. I have been reading a lot of historical fiction lately, so this was a perfect addition to my reading pile. The details of Spotswood’s world seemed so realistic, at times I was transported directly to New England, forgetting that my reality is far different from this alternate history.
The prose was wonderful, filled with lavish words that express a world where women are oppressed. While I enjoyed the writing and Spotswood’s style, I felt that some details overshadowed others. I yearned for more details about the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood, where instead I read about Cate’s romantic endeavors. But this is not a negative thing, it is a testament to Spotswood’s talent to make my mind crave for more information.
I loved reading every minute of Born Wicked. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book. I warn you, once you get drawn in, there will be no turning back. You will want to be a part of Cate’s life in New England, and wish that this world was a part of your own.