Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Witches of Eastwick

Just finished The Witches of Eastwick -- I'll read anything with a witch in it -- and found is surprisingly tender. Surprising because I saw the movie first, which has that violent black magic blowout at the end. The book is much more low-key, much more about a time in three womens' lives when they have this friendship, and how that dynamic changes when a newcomer intervenes. All friendships are subject to the wax and wane of the natural course of time, and this perhaps is what invests the books with a certain sadness. Interlacing the story with good old fashioned New Englandy imagery, and adding a layer of supernatural metaphor (their casual magic is "real" in the narrative, but come on, it's a metaphor) is a clever stroke. And finishing the story with an ode to witches, water, New England, and things past is the swiftest, most uncomplicated route to my heart.

"The witches are gone, vanished; we were just an interval in their lives, and they in ours.
But ... rumors of the days when they were solid among us, gorgeous and doing evil, have flavored the name of the town in the mouths of others, and for those of us who live here have left something oblong and invisible and exciting we do not understand. We meet it turning the corner where Hemlock meets Oak; it is there when we walk the beach in off-season and the Atlantic in its blackness mirrors the dense packed gray of the clouds: a scandal, life like smoke rising twisted into legend."

Have I reviewed The Witch of Blackbird Pond yet? Perhaps I should, though I warn you I was disappointed by a recent reading. I remember liking it as a child, and then being dismayed when I read it this past Christmas to find out that it was mostly about the Connecticut Charter.

1 comment:

dmaxlp said...

The book was so much better than the film. I had read it before seeing the movie. Oh. Imagine how disappointed I must have been, wee lad with a spinster's heart and love of madness.