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The Witches of Cambridge: A Novel av Menna…
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The Witches of Cambridge: A Novel (utgåvan 2016)

av Menna van Praag (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
9313224,466 (3.36)3
"For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Witches of Cambridge reveals an astonishing world where the heart's deepest secrets give way to the magic of life-changing love. Be careful what you wish for. If you're a witch, you might just get it. Amandine Bisset has always had the power to feel the emotions of those around her. It's a secret she can share only with her friends--all professors, all witches--when they gather for the Cambridge University Society of Literature and Witchcraft. Amandine treasures these meetings but lately senses the ties among her colleagues beginning to unravel. If only she had her student Noa's power to hear the innermost thoughts of others, she might know how to patch things up. Unfortunately, Noa regards her gift as a curse. So when a seductive artist claims he can cure her, Noa jumps at the chance, no matter the cost. Noa's not the only witch in over her head. Mathematics professor Kat has a serious case of unrequited love but refuses to cast spells to win anyone's heart. Her sister, Cosima, is not above using magic to get what she wants, sprinkling pastries in her bakery with equal parts sugar and enchantment. But when Cosima sets her sights on Kat's crush, she conjures up a dangerous love triangle. As romance and longing swirl through every picturesque side street, the witches of Cambridge find their lives unexpectedly upended and changed in ways sometimes extraordinary, sometimes heartbreaking, but always enchanting. Praise for Menna van Praag's The Dress Shop of Dreams "Reminiscent of Love Actually and P.S.I Love You. recommended to readers who want to be charmed by the possibilities of love."--LibraryReads (Top Ten Pick) Find your next book club pick, read special features, and more. Join the Random House Reader's Circle"--"The witches of Cambridge meet in a turret in Magdalene College, high above the city streets bustling with students. Amandine, her mother Heloise, and her friends Kat and George have been meeting for years in secret, but lately secrets have started to keep them apart. Amandine can feel the distance, but she has her own problem--she suspects her husband has been hiding something from her. She wishes she could use magic to tell what people are thinking instead of how they are feeling. Her empathic gift has always been a boon to her as a professor of art history, but right now she'd give anything to have her student Noa's power--the ability to hear the secrets of others. But Noa's power is more of a curse than a gift; she is unable to keep secrets to herself and her candor has driven her loved ones away all her life. When she meets a mysterious artist who claims he can rid her of her ability, she jumps at the chance, no matter the cost. And on picturesque Bene't street, there's more than flour in the sugar-scented air outside Cosima's Italian bakery as heartbroken Cosima dusts her pastries with magic she hopes will finally bring her the love she craves. When her sister Kat's friend George falls for her spell, a dangerous love triangle with George at the center threatens to tear the two sisters apart. As secrets, romance, and longing swirl through every enchanted sidestreet, the witches of Cambridge must remember that love and trust are the strongest forms of magic"--… (mer)
Medlem:Lagnella
Titel:The Witches of Cambridge: A Novel
Författare:Menna van Praag (Författare)
Info:Ballantine Books (2016), 320 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Witches of Cambridge: A Novel av Menna van Praag

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Visa 1-5 av 13 (nästa | visa alla)
I only gave this book half a star, however, Goodreads does not allow for half stars so I rounded this up to one star.

This is my third book by Menna Van Praag and I can honestly say that I 100 percent doubt that I will read any of her books in the future. As much as I loved The Dress Shop of Dreams, I disliked The Witches of Cambridge. I kept wondering if I had made a mistake and she really didn't write this book, but nope, same author wrote both books.

If you want to read a book with an ever shifting cast of characters, with no real follow through with a lot of the story-lines until the very end, and no real depth provided for the story to grab you, then I think this book will be right up your alley.

I think the first issue with the book was with how it was set up. Initially, the book begins with Amandine who is a professor who is also a witch. The way that Van Praag sets up how Amadine meets her husband and now her magic comes into play at particular times made me excited. And everything after those initial pages did not come close to being as great as the first few pages were. We quickly segue into Amandine expressing her fears that something is wrong with her husband and now she is terrified that he is having an affair.

From there readers are introduced to the character of Noa (20 something year old student connected to Amandine) and Heloise (Amandine's widowed mother). And for about 20 percent or so the book it is just these three characters. Fine. But then we have the insertion of Kat and Cosima (sisters) and Kat's best friend George. So after that point the book zig zags trying to tell stories that are not really linked about these 6 people.

Are you looking for explanation of how this group was connected and how members are admitted?

Are you looking for explanations on how witches can fly and why in the world would they meet floating up above buildings to discuss books?

Are you looking for whether there are other groups out there and whether they all meet up?

If you are, go elsewhere. There are just random insertions about magic here and there and it does not feel like an organic part of the story at all. I know this is a magic realism book, but it didn't read or feel like one to me at all. Comparing this to Sarah Addison Allen or Alice Hoffman I thought for me personally was a reach.

And none of the characters except for Noa resonated with me at all. The rest of the characters were underdeveloped or it felt like there story-lines were not progressing at all.

And I am just going to say it, it takes a lot to have me feel personally offended while reading a book, but holy crap this one did it. We in this book have two cases of people using magic to further their own ends and take away two other peoples free will. In at least both cases I would say that what happens to two of the characters was not only mental but physical rape. However, the book only condemns one of the characters. The other one is kind of given a stern talking to and then nothing. That person is forgiven. Because I guess wanting to have a baby is an instant way to be forgiven for being a terrible person.

The secondary characters (Amandine's husband, Heloise's former husband, Cosima's husband, Noa's love interest) are not developed at all. Frankly in the case of Cosima, I have no idea why this character was even included.

The writing was okay, but nothing really grabbed me. This was not a book that gripped me or had me rushing to finish it in order to read it all over again.

The flow was really bad. I chalk that up to trying to juggle 6 different characters and the secondary characters in this story. The only story that I wanted to read and get back to was Noa's. I didn't care about Amandine after her umpteenth woe is me and refusal to figure out what was going on with her husband. Heloise I had sympathy for, but she became one note as well until more than halfway through the book. I detested the character of Cosima and felt indifferent towards Kat and George. So this is my long way of saying this book was pretty painful with the constant jumping around.

And though this book takes place in Cambridge, there is no real description or discussions to make you think this is taking place there.

The ending was a hot mess. I cheered a death of a character and didn't really care about what became of anyone at that point.The book includes some description of herbs and flowers and what properties they are supposed to have and then there are some recipes in the back. None of the recipes looked that interesting. And it was weird to include the recipes though I guess the tie back was from the fact that the character of Cosima runs a bakery and is constantly adding things to the food in order to get the desired effect. Considering how we see how Cosima uses her gift to get what she wants I would say including the recipes was in bad taste. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
When I first heard about this book I thought I'd love it but after awhile it became a bit hard to focus on what I was reading. After about 30% I found myself skimming the pages (but then I felt bad for skipping so I made myself go back and re-read). Despite this, it was still an enjoyable read. There wasn't as much magic as I'd hoped/expected but I do like that all of the witches are at different stages in their lives, each with their own personal struggles.

*Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  maebri | Mar 10, 2020 |
I love the way this author writes. I've read her three most recent books and loved them all, I hope there are many more to look forward to.

I thought all the main characters were very likable. They are all witches, each with their own type of magic and each with their own issues and secrets.

I loved that there was magical realism in this story. I loved the magical pastries. I didn't even know about pistachio cream croissants but now I have to try them.

Some of the secrets were guessable (or atleast you may have suspicions) but that didn't make them less enjoyable.

I only have it 4 stars instead of 5 because it was a bit dark and sad at times. But I thoroughly enjoyed the book. ( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
A lovely tale that involves secrets, love, loss, art, and magic. ( )
  Melissalovesreading | Sep 30, 2018 |
The Witches of Cambridge are an unusual book discussion group, after all they're all witches, with different skills, only one of whom is male, all of whom have unusual gifts. The women are very varied and have different interests, skills and ages. All are looking for a future but they have to work for it.

The back cites Love Actually and P.S. I Love you for read-alikes and I would agree. Some of it was a little simple and things happened a bit too easily, it had the roots of a good movie but the book wouldn't have added much to the movie, a little bit more would have made it more satisfying. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Oct 26, 2016 |
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"For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Witches of Cambridge reveals an astonishing world where the heart's deepest secrets give way to the magic of life-changing love. Be careful what you wish for. If you're a witch, you might just get it. Amandine Bisset has always had the power to feel the emotions of those around her. It's a secret she can share only with her friends--all professors, all witches--when they gather for the Cambridge University Society of Literature and Witchcraft. Amandine treasures these meetings but lately senses the ties among her colleagues beginning to unravel. If only she had her student Noa's power to hear the innermost thoughts of others, she might know how to patch things up. Unfortunately, Noa regards her gift as a curse. So when a seductive artist claims he can cure her, Noa jumps at the chance, no matter the cost. Noa's not the only witch in over her head. Mathematics professor Kat has a serious case of unrequited love but refuses to cast spells to win anyone's heart. Her sister, Cosima, is not above using magic to get what she wants, sprinkling pastries in her bakery with equal parts sugar and enchantment. But when Cosima sets her sights on Kat's crush, she conjures up a dangerous love triangle. As romance and longing swirl through every picturesque side street, the witches of Cambridge find their lives unexpectedly upended and changed in ways sometimes extraordinary, sometimes heartbreaking, but always enchanting. Praise for Menna van Praag's The Dress Shop of Dreams "Reminiscent of Love Actually and P.S.I Love You. recommended to readers who want to be charmed by the possibilities of love."--LibraryReads (Top Ten Pick) Find your next book club pick, read special features, and more. Join the Random House Reader's Circle"--"The witches of Cambridge meet in a turret in Magdalene College, high above the city streets bustling with students. Amandine, her mother Heloise, and her friends Kat and George have been meeting for years in secret, but lately secrets have started to keep them apart. Amandine can feel the distance, but she has her own problem--she suspects her husband has been hiding something from her. She wishes she could use magic to tell what people are thinking instead of how they are feeling. Her empathic gift has always been a boon to her as a professor of art history, but right now she'd give anything to have her student Noa's power--the ability to hear the secrets of others. But Noa's power is more of a curse than a gift; she is unable to keep secrets to herself and her candor has driven her loved ones away all her life. When she meets a mysterious artist who claims he can rid her of her ability, she jumps at the chance, no matter the cost. And on picturesque Bene't street, there's more than flour in the sugar-scented air outside Cosima's Italian bakery as heartbroken Cosima dusts her pastries with magic she hopes will finally bring her the love she craves. When her sister Kat's friend George falls for her spell, a dangerous love triangle with George at the center threatens to tear the two sisters apart. As secrets, romance, and longing swirl through every enchanted sidestreet, the witches of Cambridge must remember that love and trust are the strongest forms of magic"--

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