Monday, June 10, 2013


By Cate Tiernan

Yesterday I was ordinary - not too pretty, not too plain. Yesterday I had a normal family, with parents and a sister; I had normal friends of various states of coolness, hotness, and everything in between; I lived in a normal town. But today Cal Blaire arrived in Widow's Vale. And now nothing will be the same. Yesterday my life was ordinary. Today everything about my life -- my family, my friends, me -- has changed. My name is Morgan Rowlands. Today I discovered that I'm a witch. 
                                                                         Cate Tiernan, Sweep - Book of Shadows

I seem to be on a teen/fantasy kick with my reading lately and this book is no exception. I have to warn you that this one is about witchcraft, so it may be offensive to some. I found it to be disturbing on some levels due to the nature of the subject, yet this is a good read.

Morgan not only discovers that she is a witch but she also finds out she was adopted and begins to learn more about her heritage as the book goes on. I really identified with this part of the book as I am adopted myself and just re-connected with my blood mother's family in the last few years. Like Morgan, my blood mother is deceased, although there is no real mystery surrounding her death. Cal begins to help Morgan discover what it means to be a witch of a powerful and influential clan.

Tiernan explores the nature of witchcraft, friendship, family and romantic relationships. I found it interesting that she wrote a great deal of day-to-day activities (you see Morgan brushing her teeth, find out what article of clothes she wears and what her car looks like) yet I had a hard time picturing characters and surroundings. While reading, I was not sure what Morgan looked like. Tiernan's website was actually helpful in that regard.

What did this book have to do with my faith? I felt very uncomfortable reading about witchcraft and wondering how much Tiernan was writing from experience. I did appreciate Morgan's own struggle with her Catholic faith and family and her new comfort and power of being a witch. Although she still believes in God, she also believes in some kind of goddess. Although wicca is explained as being benign and not contrary to Christianity, I have my doubts. I did appreciate her efforts in being grounded (literally), using meditation to be calm and thoughtful and her newfound love of plants and herbs. I found myself wondering why I don't spend more time in praying and being with God, a sure way to find calm and peace.

I recommend Sweep.

Happy reading!


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