Rated Reads

Petty Magic

by Camille DeAngelis

Rated: Mild

Eve has seen a few lifetimes’ worth of experiences, not just because she worked as a spy during World War II in some dangerous situations. Mainly it’s because she literally has been through a few lifetimes, at least in terms of normal mortal life spans — she’s a witch and ages much more slowly.

Many of Eve’s family members are female. Witches usually give birth to girls. And the fathers often just go away for one reason or another. Some of her sisters and nieces have had children; Eve has not. She never married. She’s had a lot of lovers over her 149 years. But there was one man she loved — and, sadly, lost.

Now she thinks she’s found him again reincarnated in a young man working in a shop in her neighborhood. She can’t resist using some “oomph” regularly to make herself look young again and dating him. Her sisters disapprove. But she can’t let go of the possibility of spending more time with her lost love. Would it even be possible for an old witch to have a relationship with a twenty-something human man?

Petty Magic takes us into Eve’s world, as she recounts her experiences during the war and her love affair with Jonah and his possible new self, and as she just takes us along with her on an entertaining trip full of magic.

I found this a fun read, one that drew me in after a slightly slow start (for me, at least), and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was different in feel (mostly lighter and perhaps not quite as thoroughly unexpected and unusual) from DeAngelis’ previous book, Mary Modern, which had a fascinating premise that went in quite odd directions, but both were great reads.

Rated: Mild, for some mild language and some sexual situations and references, but no details.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Petty Magic
  • by Camille DeAngelis
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: