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Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston

Joining the Inspired by Reading Book Club seemed like a no-brainer; I've been inspired more than once by what I read.  I won't be able to participate every month, but I look forward to those times I can.

August's selection was The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston, about a young widow who moves to a small house by a lake in Wales, and learns she has an unexpected connection to the lake's past.  A book with magic, folklore, and archeology is right up my alley, and for the most part I enjoyed the story.  Tilda is the widow in question, and Brackston does an excellent job depicting both her depression and her growing powers as she realizes that she is descended from a witch -- Seren -- who lived by the lake hundreds of years ago.

However, for a novel about powerful women there were odd gender politics.  The only other women of note in Seren's story are the main antagonists, who are, of course, jealous of her beauty and power and especially the love the local prince (married to one of the women!) has for her.  The nameless women of the village don't fare much better; Seren makes her contempt for their ordinary lives quite clear.  In Tilda's story, there are practically no women at all; even Tilda's mother (who never actually appears) is apparently only tolerated because of Tilda's love for her father.

The story was nonetheless enjoyable, and inspiration hit right away.  I had picked up an issue of Chain Maille Jewelry, and in it were instructions by Rebecca Mojica to make a Celtic Spikes pendant.  The pattern called for colored rings but I only had silver rings in the right sizes, which was apropos.  I strung the resulting pendant on a length of green velvet:
That's not text from The Silver Witch; I had to return it to the library
Silver and green work quite well for the lakeside setting, the moon, and the heroines themselves.

I look forward to seeing what everyone else made!


  1. Love the pendant you made! Also, interesting perspective about the gender politics. I hadn't really thought of that, and it's a good insight. Thanks!

    1. Your pendant is beautiful! The green velvet is the perfect accompaniment. Your book critique is well thought out.

  2. Welcome to the book club! That pendant you made is lovely... how perfect to stumble upon the "Celtic Spike" pattern at just the right time!

    1. I know -- I feel like chain mail suits the knotty/weavey Celtic motifs one sees so often.