It’s been my #poolsidereading while I’ve been on holiday in Italy, and it is probably the best book I’ve read this year.
Through shifting between before and after the Civil War on a Southern plantation, Afia Atakora has conjured the kind of literary magic that takes you back in time with every spellbound sentence.
Eras, generations, races and a plethora of relationships are all crushed together in a pestle and mortar like the herbal remedies made by mother and daughter healers, May Belle and Rue.
Conjure Women grapples with the power of hope and religion in a time so coloured by hopelessness and brutal slavery, and the lines that are so easily crossed and drawn in the name of love, loyalty, or the closest thing in the face of so much lovelessness. This is historical fiction done perfectly.