ISBN #: 978-1-4013-2390-5 (dj)
Page Count: 273
A former fashion and beauty editor, de la Cruz has written for the New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Teen Vogue, among others. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends, and fame for CNN, E! and Fox News.
De la Cruz grew up in Manila before moving to San Francisco with her family. She is a graduate of Columbia University and lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with her family.
An ARC copy of this book was graciously provided to me by publicist Megan Beatie of Goldberg McDuffie Communications in exchange for an honest review (see below). This book is scheduled to go on sale in hardback on June 21, 2011. The rights to this book have already sold in six countries and is already under development for TV by the producer of Water for Elephants and I Am Legend.
In the quiet Long Island hamlet of North Hampton (a place so "off the map" it literally does not appear on any maps), strange and ominous happenings are afoot: birds are dropping dead out of the sky and fish are being killed by an undersea poison; children are getting mysteriously ill, and people are going missing.
For longtime residents Joanna Beauchamp and her daughters Freya and Ingrid, this spells trouble. Not only have they lived in North Hampton for years - they've lived there for centuries. As immortal witches, forbidden to practice magic by the High Council, the three have been able to remain under the radar, recently living quiet lives as Joanna, a matron with a sweet tooth, and her daughters Ingrid, the bookish town librarian, and Freya, a newly-betrothed bartender trapped in a dangerous game of desire between two brothers. After a few slip ups, however - a magic love potion here, a much-desired fertility treatment there - the women begin to remember how fun it can be to use their powers. But when the town's maladies begin to bring them unwanted attention, reminiscent of the witch-hunts of centuries past, the Beauchamps must set out to uncover the darker forces at work in their hometown.
I have yet to figure out how the cover relates to the story. That being said, I like the cover. It draws a reader's eye to it on the shelves. The juxtaposition of the cover's design and the title of the book causes the reader to want to know what exactly goes on in between the covers.
This novel has it all ... mystery, witches, zombies, demons, history, romance, desire, potions, magic, etc. The sisters, Ingrid and Freya, remind me of the sisters in the movie Practical Magic.
Ingrid reminds me of Sally (Sandra Bullock's character): Reserved, keeps to herself and winds up being her sister's protector and confidant. The similarities do not stop there. Both desire to be loved, but do not trust in the power of love enough to give it a chance when it's presented to them. In the end, though, when it matters, Ingrid does open up to new possibilities, including love.
Freya reminds me of Jillian (Nicole Kidman's character): Free-loving, spontaneous and winds up getting into serious trouble due to her free spirit. The difference between Freya and Jillian, though, is that Freya winds up loving two men at once ... therein lies her trouble. She feels obligated to one brother while being inexplicably drawn to the other. As much as she tries to fight it, she cannot stop. Which brother will finally claim her heart and undying love?
I loved this book. The similarities between Witches of East End and Practical Magic stop with the sisters. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a Melissa de la Cruz fan and/or a fan of witches, mysteries, romance or any combination of the three. I look forward to the next book in this series.
Thanks to the generosity of Goldberg McDuffie Communications, one hardback copy of Witches of East End will be given away to U.S. residents only. The giveaway is open from now until June 15th, at which time a winner will be chosen randomly and given 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. If the winner does not respond within the time allotted, another winner will be chosen in their place.
Good luck and happy reading! =)