348 Following

Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

Currently reading

This Time Next Year
Sophie Cousens
An Extraordinary Union
Alyssa Cole
A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals
Alyssa Cole
Burn for Me
Ilona Andrews
John Connolly
After I'm Gone
Laura Lippman
The Black Angel
John Connolly
The Ballad of Black Tom
Victor LaValle
Progress: 100 %
Flag Counter

Pro: It Was Short

White is for Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

I am seriously going to hard pass on future books by Helen Oyeyemi. I don't get them/like them and they feel like too much effort to finish. I should not struggle to understand what the author is trying to convey while reading this much. The writing is just broken sentences and thoughts. I don't even know who was who until I got to around page 30 or 40 or something like that. I stopped paying attention. I think once again that Oyeyemi was trying to play around with too many genres and none of them worked. This book has magical realism, Gothic, and even some horror elements. Usually that would be right up my alley. However, everything was so muddled. The only good thing I can say about this book is that it is only 230 pages. 


"White is for Witching" follows the Silver family. The family moves to Dover, England and turns the home into a bed and breakfast. The house though has something wrong with it that appears to be affecting women. That is pretty much what I got from reading this book. A haunted house book should be straight forward, but then again I read 77 Shadow Street a few years back and that book was a mess too. 

There are a couple of characters in this story. I think that Miranda is the sister, but is often referred to as Miri by her brother whose name was Eliot. I think that the beginning rhyme we get in the beginning is the clue to the whole book, but at first I went, what?


"Miranda Silver is in Dover, in the ground beneath her mother's house. 

Her throat is blocked with apple

(to stop her speaking words that may betray her)

her ears are filled with earth

(to keep her from hearing sounds that will confuse her)

her eyes are closed, but

her heart thrums hard like hummingbird wings." 


So there's that and from there you have the book jump around to the narrator again telling you about their father called Luc and then how he met Lily. There are other people referenced in this story and I am too tired to go back to look them up. I just didn't get a sense of anyone at all. We know that Miranda has a condition that causes her to want to eat chalk (pica) and she seems to be going in and out of getting help. The book then has us following other women who seemed to be affected by the house the Silver family now lives in. And we honestly don't know if this is true or not (the haunted house being affected by something called a soucouyant) or is Miranda just slowly losing her mind. 


I think the main problem with the writing is that it's very confusing who is speaking at any moment. At one point I thought it was an omnipotent narrator and then I realized who that was and went, oh geez. I finally gave up trying to follow who was talking though. The flow was awful from sentence to sentence honestly. I felt like I needed a diagram to follow along with what was happening at any given moment.


The setting of the book mostly seems to be focused on winter. I think Christmas is referenced at least twice and it seems around that holiday everything goes wonky. Also we have at the end the description of cold winter apples that have white on them that are then made into a pie. Yeah guys, I don't know. This book was something I would have been forced to read in high school for my English class and I would have been asked a question about symbolism. 


The ending was weird and no I don't know what the shoes, the number three, etc. has to do with anything. There were apples, pie, it was winter, I was nonplussed.