A Great Witch Story: Brooms, Salt and Apple cider

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by Tim Burdick on 31 October, 2014

A great witch story: brooms, salt and Apple cider

Stephen Cosgrove’s Bump in The Night
Book Four: A Pinch of Salt

The story’s opening chapter presents the Hickabee family history including their orchard and the different tragedies that befell the family, her great grandfather, and her father both died on Halloween. This impersonal style of writing relates simple fact and basic details without a hint of the impending danger.

As the story continues, the reader gets a more personal view through the eyes of Iris Hickabee, the youngest in the family. She is your typical teenager, who wants to play, and not do chores. She tires of the sister’s yearly tradition: handing out a free glass of Witch’s brew (the family apple cider) to every member of the town on Halloween night. This year is the 100th celebration and has special significance. The girl meets an old woman, Edna Sutter at her friend’s bed and breakfast, Sutter’s Mill. Through their conversations, Iris learns the truth about the sisters (a name the Hickabee women choose for themselves) that the girl’s mother- Helen, grandmother- Hanna, and great grandmother- Gretta are—WITCHES. Thus, the fragile old woman wants to end the power of the sisters’ over Bump City.

Her adventure begins as she aids the old woman to stop her family. The tension builds with each chapter as the girl looks for the symbols of the witches’ power- the broom, the black cat, Snickers, and the wooden goblet. The story is a great page turner. It makes you keep reading but at the same time, I felt an impending doom. Like an accident, you were unable to stop. I had to take breaks to continue the character’s life as I didn’t know what would happen. The climax doesn’t disappoint and the final spell it casts is a gripping one.

The story details make this great one. The initial information about the orchard surrounded by six foot salt trench is vital to the plot. The Halloween night tradition with the sisters taking their final drink at midnight appear to be innocent details but have a deeper meaning and the reader will enjoy as the truth is told.
Also, the typical symbols of the witch: the hat, the clothes, the broom, and the cat all are used in a fresh way and are woven into the story’s final outcome.

Grab this scary read about witches’ brew.

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