The Witches Of New York by Ami MckayThe Witches Of New York by Ami Mckay

The Witches Of New York

byAmi Mckay

Hardcover | October 25, 2016

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The beloved, bestselling author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure is back with her most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of a trio of remarkable young women navigating the glitz and grotesqueries of Gilded-Age New York by any means possible, including witchcraft...


The year is 1880. Two hundred years after the trials in Salem, Adelaide Thom (Moth from The Virgin Cure) has left her life in the sideshow to open a tea shop with another young woman who feels it's finally safe enough to describe herself as a witch: a former medical student and gardien de sorts (keeper of spells), Eleanor St. Clair. Together they cater to Manhattan's high society ladies, specializing in cures, palmistry and potions--and in guarding the secrets of their clients. All is well until one bright September afternoon, when an enchanting young woman named Beatrice Dunn arrives at their door seeking employment.
     Beatrice soon becomes indispensable as Eleanor's apprentice, but her new life with the witches is marred by strange occurrences. She sees things no one else can see. She hears voices no one else can hear. Objects appear out of thin air, as if gifts from the dead. Has she been touched by magic or is she simply losing her mind? Eleanor wants to tread lightly and respect the magic manifest in the girl, but Adelaide sees a business opportunity. Working with Dr. Quinn Brody, a talented alienist, she submits Beatrice to a series of tests to see if she truly can talk to spirits. Amidst the witches' tug-of-war over what's best for her, Beatrice disappears, leaving them to wonder whether it was by choice or by force.
     As Adelaide and Eleanor begin the desperate search for Beatrice, they're confronted by accusations and spectres from their own pasts. In a time when women were corseted, confined and committed for merely speaking their minds, were any of them safe?
AMI McKAY's debut novel, The Birth House, was a #1 bestseller in Canada, winner of three CBA Libris Awards, nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, a finalist for Canada Reads and a book-club favourite around the world. Her second novel, The Virgin Cure, also a national bestseller and a Best Book pick across numero...
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Title:The Witches Of New YorkFormat:HardcoverDimensions:528 pages, 8.54 × 5.91 × 1.39 inPublished:October 25, 2016Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0676979580

ISBN - 13:9780676979589

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Instant Favourite This book had everything I was looking for. It was a historical fiction with that old-time feel. It was whimsical and just a little creepy. It's a great book to read now that fall is approaching if you want to get into that cozy fall mood.
Date published: 2017-08-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Could not put it down. Was a great read! It got a little boring a couple of times, but quickly drew you back into it. I could hardly put it down at times. I am looking forward to reading more of her stuff. Would love to know what happens to these witches over time. I highly recommend it, a great historical novel.
Date published: 2017-08-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Witches of New York Loved this book, great follow-up to The Virgin Cure
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Witches of New York This book was easy to follow with a story that pulls you right in. I'll have to go back and read the virgin cure now :)
Date published: 2017-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another win for Ami McKay Love this author's work and this book did not disappoint. Great from beginning to end.
Date published: 2017-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I want to be a witch too! This book was so beautifully written. I wanted to become a witch too just so that I could charm myself into that era to hang out with these characters. Absolutely delightful! Two thumbs up!
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read I enjoyed this book thoroughly! It was filled with just the right amount of twists and turns that it kept my interest and made pages turn faster than ever. I really loved the strong female leads and how they all seemed to possess such remarkable qualities, especially as women in their era. Overall, this book might be a quick and easy read, but it is truly magical. (yes, I went there lol)
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from READ THIS BOOK!!! Oh this book was SO fantastic!! I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! I read this book because The Birth House meant so much to me. I was slightly less engaged with The Virgin Cure, but The Witches of New York captured my imagination. I love historical fiction, and this novel did not disappoint! I think McKay is one of Canada's most exciting writers.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amy writes beautifully Loved all the tea references and the magic and the characters. The history wound into the story enhances it entirely. Big fan of Amy writing! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read This book sort of follows from The Virgin Cure. Here we find Moth later in her life. The story was well told with lots of little historical details about New York. Enjoyed it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Witches of New York This book follows Ami's character Moth from her last book and I was not disappointed. Absolutely loved it, just like her other two novels. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Page Turner!! I felt very attached to this book as I read it. The characters are endearing, the plot is focused, (rarely meandering too far out of the scope of what's occurring throughout the story, while still remaining interesting), few questions go unanswered or unresolved for the reader. I wish it never ended....
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Enjoyable This was a light refreshing read for me, I especially enjoyed all the references to tea, I actually went out and found some to try for myself. The characters were loveable. Quick read.
Date published: 2017-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! This was a great novel, I would recommend it to everyone. A must read!!
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from At staple on my book shelf I had waited for months for this book to come out. Like Ami Mckay, I was not dissapointed! A bit slow and dragged on at times but otherwise, its a captivating novel!
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful read A wonderful read so full of life!
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable This book was given to me as a gift and I must say I enjoyed it. I love a good "witch" book.
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow paced, atmospheric read This is not the kind of book that I normally read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s an interesting pro-witch tale about three women: a witch, a seer and a young woman only just learning about witchcraft. At times, the pace was a bit slow, but I enjoyed the writing overall. It’s full of interesting supporting characters (my favourite being Madame St. Clair, who I think may deserve her own book) and built around the backdrop of the arrival of an Egyptian obelisk. The book is beautifully formatted. The moon cycles, (fake) newspaper clippings, and highlights from Eleanor’s grimoire added to the generally atmosphere of the book and supplemented the lore and spells scattered throughout the story. Some plots lines and characters did not come to a conclusion or get fully developed, which makes me suspect that this book will have a sequel.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this one The setting and characters really draw you in. Even the design of the book is nice; good overall package.
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spooky and Well Written I really enjoyed reading this book, and I especially loved how many supernatural elements the book contained. Ami McKay did a wonderful job of organising the book in a way that the chapters would bounce from character to character and the extras that she includes throughout the book make it even more interesting and fun to read as well. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Spooky I honestly felt the magical elements of this book focused more on ghosts than anything else. The writing was beautiful and I loved the little segments about herbs. It's nicely designed with brief illustrations to break up chapters.
Date published: 2017-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Wonderful Read! The character development was excellent and the reader was immediately immersed into the stories of each of the women: Beatrice a young woman just discovering her power; Eleanor the "keeper of spells" and Beatrice's mentor McKay did a fantastic job of describing the tenuous line that these women walked by practicing their craft in a time when people were not completely accepting witchcraft. The women in the novel pushed several boundaries (sexuality, women's contraceptive rights, society's rules about women's roles) without being pushy. Upon finishing the book I continue to think of each woman and wish I could read more about their lives - past, present and future! #IndigoEmployee
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful read! The book is a little hard to follow at first, as it jumps around from character to character to let you get to know them. I almost stopped reading but I'm glad I didn't . As I got further along it was easier to follow and all came together and once it did I couldn't put it down. It was enchanting and kept me hooked. I really hope that there will be a second novel to this story as I would love to read more.
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just ok I couldn't really get into this one! But I have loved other books by this author.
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun and Enjoyable It took me a bit to get into this book, but I was pleasantly surprised by the end.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down The book was a little difficult to follow in the beginning, as there are a lot of players to keep track of, but once you get into it you will not be able to put it down. My only complaint is that the ending left me wanting more.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read if you like historical and superstition Interesting read. Liked it . Very well researched. I particularly liked the characters. I found myself intrigued with all of them and for this reason had to keep reading. I loved the info regarding the superstitions and the beliefs. Reminded me very much of my grandmother and her beliefs and ways. I found this to be the best part of the book. (for me) I would have given it three stars as it did not have enough thrill for me. But it is so very well written and researched that I believe for those who like this type of story they will definitely enjoy it. So 4 stars is what I rated it at. Yes I would recommend this book .
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great read Loved this book. Ami McKay is a very talented storyteller.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cannot wait to read Another book on my list this Author is so compelling
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a talented storyteller Just started reading this book and love it. If you love fantasy, you won't go wrong with this one. It is set in the late 1800's and involves 3 women who identify themselves as witches. Whether they are the magical witches of fairy tales, or women who are labeled as such in society because they are independent and resourceful women is not yet clear. But to me this is not necessary to know. The author's writing allows you to imagine being in the middle of New York in the late 19th century. The characters are well written and have vivid background stories that make you want to read more about them. Apparently, at least one of the author's books has one of the characters at an earlier time of her life. I already want to find the earlier books to read. The author is an adept storyteller and weaves a magical world.
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book I picked this up based on enjoying McKay's other novels and was not disappointed. Great female protagonists.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical Don't you love the cover of Ami McKay's latest book - The Witches of New York? I had no idea what it was about when I picked it up, but I love McKay's writing, so I knew it would be good. And it was wonderful - literally magical! I began to read and was thrilled to find a character named Moth from McKay's The Virgin Cure. Moth has reinvented herself as Adelaide Thom and opened a tea shop with Eleanor St. Clair. The two women sell more than tea though. Eleanor outright describes herself as a witch and Adelaide has an innate ability to read people. When young Beatrice Dunn arrives looking for employment, Eleanor recognizes the untapped abilities and power the girl possesses. McKay's lead characters are magical, but not perfect which hits the right note. Others also see Beatrice's potential - witch hunters, religious fanatics, those desperate to contact the dead and an alienist. The sense of impending danger from these players had me not wanting to turn the page at some junctures. But of course I had to. There are also some decidedly unusual supporting characters - a raven who may not really be a bird, myriad ghosts and a pair of dream fairies. The setting is just as much of a player in the novel. McKay's depiction of 1880's New York conjured up vivid scenes crackling with detail and interspersed with historical fact. McKay captures the tone and fascination of the time period with conversing with the spirit world. And she had me wondering as well as I read the spells, wondered about that sudden breeze in a closed room and tried to remember the dream I had last night. McKay's prose are meant to be read slowly, savouring each sentence and situation and pausing to wonder what if? The Witches of New York is another wonderful read from a very talented storyteller. I think there's more to this story - I wonder if McKay thinks so too?
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great novel Read this book for my book club and it was loved by just everyone. Ami Mckay does an amazing job at portraying the 1800's accurately and it's clear that she did her research. Even if you aren't normally a person who chooses book with witchcraft and such, you should give it a go!
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it. 4.5 This is my first Ami McKay book. She is a strong writer indeed! This was such a good story; bright female protagonists and enough characters on the periphery to keeps things intertwined and interesting. I am not a fantasy reader but I found it hard to start another book for a few days after this as I was still so engrossed with the characters- what my daughter calls a book hangover. Loved it!
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book! Pick it up and read it! I honestly never thought I would completely fall in love with it like I did. Next thing I knew I was looking up where to buy mugwort tea and I was reading up on witchcraft information. Set in New York city in the different phases of the moon, we are introduced to 3 strong female characters. In the end, I felt very close to all 3 of them. They’re stories, emotions and thoughts felt so real and close to me. I wanted nothing more than to walk down the street, find a tea shop and have a warm cup with one of them. Ami McKay is a brilliant writer, it was so refreshing. I will definitely be picking up her other books (also highly rated) and reading them ALL! Happy reading!
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from like it The writing is elegant and vividly descriptive. The three main characters, Adelaide, Eleanor, and Beatrice, are strong, bold, and independent. And the plot is a creative, dark, mysterious ride of historical tidbits, mystical occurrences, friendship, murder, witchcraft, and love.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from pretty good this book was very informative.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another winner Ami McKay's 3rd book is a winner. The details of post Civil War New York and the historical inserts draw the reader into the period. Her characters are well developed and compelling. The ending left a number of story lines incomplete, which leads me to hope there will be another book to come. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book As always Ami McKay did not disappoint! If you liked her other two novels you'll love this one too.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Charming This a delightful novel with an original storyline and characters that you wish you could befriend. Another way of seeing New York at the turn of the 19th century and the "magic" of that time.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magic, Mystery, and Charm! The Witches of New York is a novel about three mystical women who practice the art of witchcraft in a small teashop in the city of New York during Victorian period in the late 1800's. Between the three they offer seances, tarot card readings, midwifery, love spells, and herbal cures, as was popular during the era. There are also ghosts and magic sprinkled throughout. There is a strong magical element to this story, which may push historical fiction purists beyond their comfort zone. But if you can allow your imagination to believe, then I promise you will be charmed! Along with the white/good magic, there is also some darkness and evil in the form of a jealous husband and a religious zealot bent on making their lives miserable. The middle portion of the book was a little slow, but at the 2/3rd mark, the story definitely picks up. The author truly did a marvelous job at recreating the New York of the times with its culture, norms, and sights and sounds. Ami McKay is a lovely writer. Her heroines are always strong and assertive. The storyline is both dark and pleasant with a touch of mystery and paranormal. Definitely a charming, fun read!
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing & Entertaining! Dark, fascinating, and incredibly atmospheric! This story is set in New York City in the early 1880s, a time when building and bridge development was rampant, immigration was ongoing, and the Statue of Liberty was still only a torch-bearing arm displayed in Madison Square Park. However, it was also a time of religious condemnation, fear of the unknown, and a time when cruel and barbaric behaviour towards women who didn’t conform to what society deemed norm was still acceptable. The writing is elegant and vividly descriptive. The three main characters, Adelaide, Eleanor, and Beatrice, are strong, bold, and independent. And the plot is a creative, dark, mysterious ride of historical tidbits, mystical occurrences, friendship, murder, witchcraft, and love. This definitely is an enjoyable read that sweeps you away to another place and reminds you of some of the hardships and struggles of a different time. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read anything else by Ami McKay, I highly recommend “The Virgin Cure” still today one of my all-time favourites. Thank you to NetGalley, especially Penguin Random House Canada, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2016-10-26

Read from the Book

City of Wonders. In the dusky haze of evening a ruddy-cheeked newsboy strode along Fifth Avenue proclaiming the future. “The great Egyptian obelisk is about to land on our shores! The Brooklyn Bridge set to become the Eighth Wonder of the World! Broadway soon to glow with electric light!” In his wake, a crippled man shuffled, spouting prophecies of his own. “God’s judgement is upon us! The end of the world is nigh!” New York had become a city of astonishments. Wonders and marvels came so frequent and fast, a day without spec­tacle was cause for concern. Men involved themselves with the business of making mir­acles. Men in starched collars and suits, men in wool caps and dirty boots. From courtrooms to boardrooms to the news­rooms of Park Row; from dockyards to scaffolds to Mr. Roebling’s Great Bridge—every man to a one had a head full of schemes: to erect a monument to genius, to become a wizard of invention, to discover the unknown. They set their sights on greatness while setting their watches to the drop of the Western Union Time Ball. Their dreams no longer came to them via stardust and angel’s wings, but by tug, train and telegraph. Sleep lost all meaning now that Time was in man’s grasp. In the building beneath the tower that held the time ball, a mindful order of women sat—side by side, row on row, storey upon storey, one hundred young ladies in all, working round the clock to translate the wishes of men to dots and dashes. Transfixed by the steady click-clack of their task, the ghost of Mr. Samuel Morse hovered near. He’d tried to get to Heaven on numerous occasions, but could never seem to find his way past the tangled canopy of telegraph lines that criss-crossed the skies above Manhattan. What he needed was an angel, or better yet, a witch. Someone to translate the knocks and rappings of his soul, to convey all the things he’d left unsaid. Where could one be found? Were there any left? In a halo of lamplight near the Western Union Building, a prostitute leaned her aching back against the bricks. Lips rouged, eyes rimmed with charcoal, she was waiting for a man. Puffing on a cigarette she’d begged off a stranger, she blew a steady stream of smoke rings in the air. At the edge of her sight, a shadowy figure in the shape of a fine-dressed gentleman appeared—five feet off the ground, coattails flapping in the breeze. Rubbing her eyes, the girl shook her head, thinking she’d had too much to drink. She swore, hand to God, she’d get off the booze one day, not now, of course, maybe in the spring. As the ghost dissolved from her view, the girl flicked the stub of her cigarette to the ground and crushed it with the heel of her boot. Hand in her pocket she reached for a trinket she’d been given by her last john. “A lucky rabbit’s foot,” he’d said, “blessed by a bona fide witch.” “Liar,” the girl had com­plained when he’d offered her the charm along with half of what he was supposed to pay. “No, no, no,” the john had insisted. “I tell you, she was real . . . a real witch with a very fine ass.” With that, the girl had grabbed the trinket and sent the john on his way. Something was better than nothing. She needed all the help she could get. Stroking the soft fur of the rabbit’s foot, the girl thought of all she lacked. She was tired, she needed sleep, but she wanted more booze. When she glanced at the spot where she’d snuffed out the butt, there was a shiny new dime in its place. Picking the coin off the ground, she wondered if maybe the john had been right after all. Maybe the damn foot was lucky. Maybe the witch was real. Maybe her luck had changed because the john had dipped his willy in a witch and then dipped it in her, leaving behind some strange magic. There were worse things she could catch, she guessed.  In the shadow of the Great Bridge, a young widow knelt to plead with the river. Just after supper she’d spied something terrible in the soapy murk of her dishwater, a vision she’d seen once before, and she’d just as soon forget. Each time she closed her eyes, it came to her again—a man’s face, bloated and blue, gasping for air. The last time she’d seen it, it’d been her husband’s. This time it was a stranger’s. “I understand,” the woman said to the river, touching the surface of the water with a finger. “I know how it feels to be slighted.” She also understood that the river required pay­ment from those who wished to cross it. Blood, flesh and bone were what it liked best. The widow didn’t have much of anything to give as an offering—a few pennies, a splash of whiskey, the cheerful tune of an ancient song—but she hoped that if she were gentle, persuasive and kind, the river might change its mind. Was it witchcraft she was plying? She didn’t care so long as it worked. Something had to be done. Something was better than nothing. In the cellar of a modest house on the edge of the Tenderloin, a weary housekeeper lit a candle and said a prayer. Taper in one hand, glass jar in the other, she poured wax around the edge of the jar’s lid to seal it shut. The jar—filled with stale urine, old needles, shards of mirror, brass buttons, bent nails and thirteen drops of blood from her left thumb—was what her wise grandmother had called a “witch’s bottle.” While others might call it humbug, the housekeeper saw the jar and its contents as her last hope to dispel the strange darkness that’d settled in her midst. What else could explain all that’d happened since the master of the house had passed? For weeks she’d been plagued by what she thought was a ghost or, perhaps, a demon, lurking in her room, stealing her sight, shaking her bed, night after night. What did it want? Where had it come from? Why wouldn’t it leave her alone? Prayers, hymns and a desperate stint of almsgiving hadn’t driven it away. She feared the terrible thing wouldn’t rest until it saw her dead. Had she been cursed? Something had to be done. As her grandmother would say, Wo gibt es Hexen, gibt es Geister. Where there are witches there are ghosts.   In a quiet corner of a cozy teashop just shy of Madison Square Park, a magnificent raven sat on a perch, preening its feathers. As the bird tugged and fussed at its wing, three women con­versed around a nearby table—one, a lady of considerable wealth, the others a pair of witches, keepers of the bird and the shop. “Can you help?” the lady inquired, worry catching in her throat. “I’m at my wit’s end. Something must be done.” One witch answered with a confident, “Of course.” The other humbly replied, “Leave it with us.” The raven cast an indifferent eye upon them. He’d wit­nessed this sort of thing before—the woman, unable to manage her affairs, needed a witch (or two) to make things right. That was all fine and good, but he was more interested in a faint sound coming from overhead, an enchanting jangle akin to when prisms on a chandelier touch. But how could that be when there was no chandelier to be found in the shop? He was certain unexpected magic was afoot. Tea was poured, complaints and concerns heard, sympa­thy given. Crystal ball and grimoire consulted. Palms and tea leaves read. How pleased the bird was when he noticed the tray of teacakes in the centre of the table had barely been touched. How pleased the lady was when the witches pre­sented her with a small package tied with red string. The lady was sure she felt something move within the parcel. A tiny tremor of mystical vibration, perhaps? A sign of things to come? She’d heard rumours from a friend of a friend that these women could work miracles. She prayed it was true. She wanted to believe. Lowering her voice, she said, “You swear this thing has been touched by witchcraft?” One of the women gave a polite nod and said, “Of course, my dear, of course.” The other replied with a smile and a shrug. “Call it what you like.” The raven simply cocked its head. It was all he could do not to laugh.

Editorial Reviews

NATIONAL BESTSELLERShortlisted for the 2017 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction AwardShortlisted for the 2017 Sunburst Award in Adult Fiction “[A] magical little book. . . . Witches may be McKay’s best effort yet in the way it combines humour, the occult and history into a fascinating and fun novel of women supporting each other.” —The Vancouver Sun“Those who have been waiting for this new novel, rejoice—it’s another fabulous story by the author of The Birth House and The Virgin Cure. . . . McKay is a consummate storyteller, whose love of meticulous historical research is evident through the novel. She spent hours—days—in the city’s historical society archives, finding troves of inspirational treasure for her story, and consulted with local herbalists to get the meaning of Eleanor’s herbs correct throughout the story. The accompanying artwork, both on the covers and within the novel itself, featuring all kinds of ephemera (real and created) from the era, is beautifully created by Kelly Hill, who has worked with McKay on both previous novels. This novel goes further into the world of magic—the unexplained, the supernatural—than her previous novels, but this change in style works beautifully. . . . McKay should definitely be proud of the gifts she has, and the gift she has given her readers.” —Local Xpress“Widely considered part of the A-list of contemporary writers, McKay has created and occupied a vital territory in Canadian letters, with scrupulously researched historical fiction foregrounding female characters and lives against traditionally masculine settings and milieus. It is an approach that has earned her novels prizes, international publication and a place at the top of the bestseller lists. That would be an impressive feat for any writer; the fact that McKay has managed to do it with only two novels is a powerful testimony both to the force of her vision and the quality of her writing. . . . The Witches of New York . . . fully embraces the fantastic side of McKay’s imagination. . . . For all its ideas, its imperatives, The Witches of New York is a keenly pleasurable reading experience, and over all too soon. One cannot help but want to spend more time in the company of these witches.” —Robert J. Wiersema, author of Bedtime Story, National Post“Told through McKay’s signature combination of prose, period advertisements, newspaper clippings and other ephemera, her third novel offers both a compelling, fast-paced story and a peek into New York of the late 1800s.” —Canadian Living“[The] overlap of realism and magic is the book’s charm. . . . The Witches of New York is carefully researched, and its interspersing of historical accounts gives it a gently archival feel. Descriptions of period dress are loving . . . and society types straight out of Edith Wharton pursue spiritualism for fun. Sticking to fizz would be easy, but McKay widens her scope with grimier episodes. . . . She has a nose for the Dickensian. . . . [T]he trapped ghosts of ‘scrubber girls’ killed in . . . [a] fire at the Fifth Avenue Hotel are heartbreaking and genuinely eerie. The author is at her best when tying the unearthly to the ground. . . . McKay is a fine plotter. . . . [N]ow, when governments and religions still have a tight grip on reproduction, and Trumpian misogyny has been grimly spotlit, McKay’s work takes on pointed meaning. Her women go calmly about their business in a hostile world, circumventing the system wherever they can, getting up every time they’re knocked down. Abracadabra: this is their real magic.” —Alix Hawley, author of All True Not a Lie in It, The Globe and Mail“The Witches of New York [is] an ‘enchanting’ read that’ll leave you horrified. Fans of Victorian fiction will enjoy this outing. All of tropes of the time are present here: the glamour of the Gilded Age, the tragedy of prostitutes and Fallen Women, the suffering of the toiling lower classes, the growing power of the suffragettes and the ever-present spectres of ghosts, angels and demons. The book is richly researched, and packed with enticing historical detail. McKay’s prose is, as always, superb—the descriptions enchanting, the narrative arcs compelling, the characters dear (or deliciously sinister, as the case may be). But it is the emotion of the novel that lingers longest, the pervading horror over the persecution of women—and what this persecution has done to repress women’s talents, impede their progress and stamp out their voices.” —Toronto Star“McKay has done her research, weaving in fascinating medical, historical and society tidbits from the era.” —CBC “This might only be Ami McKay’s third novel, but she has already become one of the country’s most beloved storytellers.” —The Globe and Mail “Step into an exciting and spellbinding world, brought to us by the soaring imagination of Ami McKay . . . a celebrated purveyor of intrigue, dark arts and fascinating fragments of real history. . . . [A] dark, atmospheric tale. . . . McKay’s seductive novel unfurls slowly amidst a miasma of menace, mischief, mystery and mesmerising magic. . . . This a clever, compelling story of determined, independent women fighting for a place in a man’s world of chauvinism, oppression and prejudice. . . . Using the atmospheric backdrop of New York City on the cusp of monumental change and packed with the wisdom of the ages and the authority of an author with a resonant message, this is a rich, chilling and thrilling story.” —Lancashire Evening Post“[W]hat really stood out was the amount of research McKay did. It’s something that shows particularly strongly in the strength of the link she makes between accusations of witchcraft, and their associated punishments, and a deeply ingrained, often religiously driven, sexism. . . . The Witches of New York is a compelling, fast-paced read, with much more to say than one might expect. Benefiting from research aplenty from author Ami McKay, a Victorian New York City really does come alive within its pages. . . . It’s about more than just witchcraft, and I’d urge even the most skeptical amongst you to ignore the advice of the advertisement that caught Beatrice’s eye—those averse to magic might well want to apply!” —The Australian Review“Ami McKay is an amazing writer. . . . McKay is at her best when subtly describing the constant barrage of discrimination that these women face. . . . I found myself wishing I could step right into [the characters’] tea shop to have a nice conversation with them. . . . The plotting is also masterful in this book. . . . [T]he minor characters introduced along the way serve to keep the plot moving and never muddle the forward-motion of the narrative. . . . I can see why McKay’s books appeal to many people, there seems to be a character for everyone to identify with. . . . This is literally the perfect book to curl up with on October 31.” —Anne Logan, I’ve Read This (Blog)“[McKay’s] most beguiling novel yet, luring us deep inside the lives of a trio of remarkable young women. . . . Witches, ghost[s], women’s rights, 1880’s New York, what is not to love[?] . . . The mood of the story is marvelous. . . . A perfect book for reading tucked under a fluffy blanket on a cool fall night. . . . The heroines are marvelous.  Likable, flawed and I felt a real connection to them. . . . Her writing is absolutely exquisite and haunting. I felt transported right into the time. . . . Just an exquisitely written tale that you can lose yourself in. . . . I wanted more . . . if [McKay] doesn’t [write a sequel] I may be disappointed.” —Jennifer Rayment, Misbehavin’ Librarian (Blog) (4 out of 5 Deweys)   “I loved the atmosphere of this book. McKay does an incredible job of evoking this time and place with something extra. Her cast of characters, the history infused into this book give the whole thing an ethereal quality that had me looking around wondering if spirits were near.” —Eva Phillipson, The Paperback Princess (Blog)