Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Two Short Book Reviews: The Dancing Floor and Witch by Barbara Michaels

Goodreads Summary :

A silent stranger moves in twilight shadows...It was more than her dream house. For Ellen March, buying the secluded old house nestled in the pine woods marked the start of a new life. Now she could put her failed marriage behind her, enjoy the quiet solitude of small town life, and get to know her worldly new neighbor, handsome Norman McKay... But strange visions began to cloud her mind - the shadowy figure of a woman, a ghostly white cat - and Ellen's safe haven slowly became her prison. Had she buried the past? Or had a dark legend come back to haunt her...?

My Thoughts:

I so enjoy reading this author in the fall - her books seem tailor made for the changing weather, the cool nip in the air at night, the rustling of leaves that could be the wind, or even something else more otherworldly.. Not overly scary, they have just enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. Witch is one of my favorites. I would love to move to the country one day, to a little house in the woods - but maybe not one like this. Ellen's life begins idlyllically, cooking, baking, strolling through the forest, reading as much as she likes, and then slowly, slowly things begin to change. The reader is left guessing as to who the villain of this story really is, until the very end, when things culminate and break wide open, like a sudden, violent storm. 

Goodreads Summary:

For years, Heather Tradescant had dreamed of the journey she and her father would take to England--a pilgrimage to the great gardens of history. Now that her father is dead, Heather is determined to fulfill his dreams. Unfortunately, her request to see the fabled 17th-century garden of Troytan House is denied by the owner. Though unwelcome, she braves the walls of briars and reaches the Victorian manor house beyond. She senses a strange mission of evil lurking, tainting the manor's peaceful beauty. Only then does Heather begin to wonder whether it is only stories of long-vanished witchcraft that haunt Troytan House or whether there is some more modern horror, hearer at hand, and far, far more dangerous. Continuing in the classic tradition she established with such acclaimed novels of suspense as Stitches in Time, Vanish with the Rose, and House of Stone, New York Times bestselling author Barbara Michaels has penned a chilling tale that will keep you reading until the last page.

My Thoughts:

This book is good to read in the spring or fall - I actually usually read it in the springtime, on those days of endless spring rains. However, since it follows the theme of witchcraft I had going already, I picked it up.  I love Heather, the main character. She is spirited, sassy, fearless, and bound and determined to get to the bottom of things. The question is - what is really afoot here? And who is the real target, and why?

One thing I love about this author is that Michaels' has a way of sprinkling in the most interesting folklore, superstition, and myth into her stories, and this one is no different, with its talk of mazes and labryrinths, which was all just a bonus. I think finding these tidbits are the best part of her books. These kernels of lore pique my interest and encourage me to read up on topics I would never have ever researched if I hadn't been introduced to them in her stories.


  1. Are these the only Barbara Michaels books you've read? I like witches; it all started with reading Anne Rice's The Witching Hour which was crazy. And thank you for the T.S. Eliot recommendation. I'll check him out once I finish Frost.

    1. No, I think I have read them all! These are books by her that I have recently reread. :) She is one of those authors I go back and read all the time. My copies are in shambles, it's embarrassing! Lol.

      Sure thing! I hope you enjoy him as well. I also am a fan of Emily Dickinson. :)

    2. Oops forgot to mention The Witching Hour - that is absolutely my favorite book by Anne Rice! I love that whole section on the history of the family.


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