I should not struggle to understand what the author is trying to convey while reading this much. of the heroine, Miranda Silver. The house in this book isn't so much haunted as it is as alive as the people in the story. The novel, Oyeyemi's third, won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. After the house attacks Ore again in the night, she decides to leave. i guess in that way, it is like the real-life situation of never knowing when the last time you will see someone will b. i read this. Lily is gone and her twins, Miranda and Eliot, and her husband, the gentle Luc,…. Throughout the book we follow her downward spiral, through deep illness to attempted revelry at university, alongside her twin brother and widow father. Utilising familiar Oyeyemi themes – the female psyche, twins, questions of identity – White is for Witching proves a pleasantly evocative read, if not always a consistent one. by Picador USA. Review 'Helen Oyeyemi writes the kind of prose that creeps off the page, crawls up … At once an unforgettable mystery and a meditation on race, nationality, and family legacies, White is for Witching is a boldly original, terrifying, and elegant novel by a prodigious talent. I am seriously going to hard pass on future books by Helen Oyeyemi. Maybe it has to to with the stopped watch. I think Oyeyemi is going to win gigantic prizes. Was $12.99 USD. White is for Witching is an unconventional novel, less a structured story than an extended mood piece, a rumination on horror as personified in a disintegrating personality. I read another one by her that I liked a bit better. After I finished it I turned the light of to go to sleep, and I couldn't turn my brain off. The Silver House shows malevolent, xenophobic tendencies connected to the maternal line of the Silver women (Lily, Lily's mother Jennifer, and Jennifer's mother Anna). Each answers the question, "Where is Miranda Silver?" Does anyone have thoughts on whether this novel would be appropriate and accessible for that age group? Melancholy and spooky, I felt like the whole reading experience had me teetering on the edge of discomfort. In the story, the soucouyant is defeated when a girl rubs its abandoned skin with salt and pepper, preventing the soucouyant from re-entering. “Please tell a story about a girl who gets away.”, “I know of witches who whistle at different pitches, calling things that don't have names.”, Shirley Jackson Award Nominee for Novel (Finalist) (2009), James Tiptree Jr. Award Nominee for Longlist (2010). I was never able to find the rhythm of this. This is the first book I'd read by Helen Oyeyemi, and I instantly had to purchase everything else. I am seriously going to hard pass on future books by Helen Oyeyemi. i'm not sure what this book is. like the other things i have read by her, she shows a great flair for foreboding and atmosphere but the end is a void. The Silver House answers that Miranda is at home, "homesick, home sick.". Miranda heads to Cambridge alone, where she begins a romantic relationship with a girl named Ore, who is of Nigerian descent. but i liked it more than i seem to have here. it's not a traditional story, it's kind of fairy-tale-like, but even that... there are characters who are involved heavily, and then they are absent from the narrative, never to return. This book has magical realism, Gothic, and even some horror elements. Yep, that's right, one of the narrators is a house. She lives in Prague. Or at least fake it. i'm not sure how to review it. The House adds, "Believe it, don't believe it, as you will" and proposes that instead Anna caught Jennifer running away and strangled her to death. When Miranda returns home, now so weak she has difficulty walking and seeing, she invites Ore to stay with her. Things went exactly how I thought. The bed-and-breakfast has been closed, but Eliot sometimes notices that furniture has been moved. We’d love your help. Helen Oyeyemi is the author of five novels, most recently White Is for Witching, which won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award, Mr. Fox, which won a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Boy, Snow, Bird. The House states that Jennifer Silver (Lily's mother) didn't run away as the family believed; because Jennifer was planning to abandon Lily, the House trapped her inside its walls where she lived out the rest of her life. But it also *is* the women in the family. Confused. Then the POV switches to a first-person...is this now Luc speaking? Which, of course, I like (because anything that challenges me must ultimately be good for me, yes?). I stopped paying attention. I guess this book just wasn't for me. Eliot thinks he hears Miranda's footsteps in the attic of the Silver House. Basically it is about a haunted house which likes to keep its female owners around itself even after death and encouraged said women to hasten their deaths. White is for Witching is a mesmerizing Gothic tale from the phenomenally talented author of The Icarus Girl, Helen Oyeyemi. I couldn't be bothered. The writing is just broken sentences and thoughts. Or at least fake it. The New York Times compared the novel to Toni Morrison's Beloved and Chris Abani's Song for the Night. Now, she is ready to make the transition from wunderkind to established author. I wanted to peek deeper behind the doors, I wanted something darker. There are three narrators--Minerva, a yougn lady who suffers from pica (eating stuff like clay and chalk), Ore, a girlfriend Minerva. She gets away from the house during college, but still is sick and doesn't recover from the pica that institutionalized her during high school. Ore manages to hold her by the throat until the elevator stops at a new floor, filled with silent white figures, which Ore blinds with salt. And it's a creepy house. Remarkable., Daily Telegraph i'm not sure what this book is. What do you think? I don't get them/like them and they feel like too much effort to finish. I have to admit I had a hard time finding my footing with this one and I never truly understood what was happening which made me happy to put it down and a struggle to pick it back up. In other words, is the author a genius or is she a fake? Her voice is utterly unique, and though there are slight hitches in her work, the hitches are so slight, and the work so mindblowing, that any troubles in her books are completely forgivable. Finished my first book 4 1/2 hours in the #Readathon! It's in the world's interest to have writers this good working in it. Which, of course, I like (because anything that challenges me must ultimately be good for me, yes?). Unfortunately, I feel a bit like I did after reading the Goon Squad: that is, maybe there is nothing to find and so it's not really that the book is challenging me, but instead is simply that I am second guessing my own reaction. Helen Oyeyemi is the author of five novels, most recently White Is for Witching, which won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award, Mr. Fox, which won a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Boy, Snow, Bird.In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists.She lives in Prague. The groove. But the ending, sigh, I find it a bit unsatisfying, I wish there had been a massive impressive showdown with the goodlady/soucouyant and then after that Ore and Miranda could settle down together and live happily ever after. She rubs her hands in salt and tears at this girl's face, revealing Miranda, who attacks her. The house though has something wrong with it that appears to be affecting women. I think, "I bet a city woman on a subway would understand this thing." High on the cliffs near Dover, the Silver family is reeling from the loss of Lily, mother of twins Eliot and Miranda, and beloved wife of Luc. List Of 15 Signs You Are A White Witch: #1 You Are Opening Up To Your Spiritual Powers You feel you have psychic powers, your hands offer relief to others in the form of hands-on energy healing, your ‘clairs’ are opening, you often think of someone and find the person gets in touch, you manifest what you were thinking of, and you ‘know’ things intuitively. Bewildered. Problems of bounty, as I've said in a previous review - that of Chris Adrian's, Okay, I finished this. The Silver House reveals that Anna Good (Miranda's great-grandmother) was the one to bring it to life with a curse after her husband died in Africa in WWII, fighting the Germans. Want to Read. The White Is for Witching Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by … And yet, I just can't really bring myself to give it more than the middle-of-the-bell curve 3 star rating. White Is for Witching received mixed reviews but won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. The narration moves to Ore's perspective and explores her experience in Cambridge's white-dominated society. I went back and read the first chapter after reading the ending. White Is for Witching (Book) : Oyeyemi, Helen : Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award One of Granta 's Best Young British Novelists From the acclaimed author of Boy, Snow, Bird There's something strange about the Silver family house in the closed-off town of Dover, England. Sometimes I lost the time we were in. Helen Oyeyemi is a British novelist. I was very close to putting this book down as I wasn't getting on with it at all, but I stuck with it and soon found myself falling head over heels! Add … It kills me, full on kills me that she is writing like this and she's only, dear god, 26 years old. 'White is for Witching should establish Oyeyemi as an ambitious voice in modern macabre; master of the light, lyrical touch and dark, half-hinted suggestion'-- The Times. It's in the world's interest to have writers this good working in it. When her father asks Miranda her birth year, Miranda can't remember. Review: White Is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi Carrie O'Grady on a ghost story that lacks both a story and a proper ghost "White is for Witching" follows the Silver family. I don't get them/like them and they feel like too much effort to finish. Finished my first book 4 1/2 hours in the #Readathon! Ore answers that Miranda is in the ground below the Silver House, her throat blocked by a chunk of apple. While the other members of the household are out, the house attacks Sade by possessing a mannequin. 23% Off. I couldn't get into it and couldn't bring myself to care for any of the characters or anything that was happening. ""Miranda is at home"--"homesick, home sick ...""As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. there is much in this novel that is dreamlike and dream-logic, and that is very enjoyable, but if you are looking for a plot-driven book with closure and all the good traditional stuff, i would tell you you don't want this one. That is pretty much what I got from reading this book. I'd possibly die of jealousy, except that she's completely amazing, and you know what? [1], The novel begins with several cryptic pages in which questions are asked of three entities: a woman named Ore, a man named Eliot, and the Silver House at 29 Barton Road. Ore often references the Caribbean folk story of the soucouyant, who is an old woman that abandons her skin at night to feed on the souls of others. It attacks guests, and the Kurdish housekeeper, her husband, and their two daughters move out after the house traps their eldest daughter in the elevator. White is for Witching succeeds by being simultaneously a ghost story and a tale of young love, a saga of childhood lost and an allegory on fear-fueled politics. Absorbing on a story level and impressive on a literarary level. I'm assuming you've read it if you want to assign it to your class? All the women in Minerva's family have been crazy to some extent, so Minerva was bound to suffer from something. While one character worries that she may be fading into a sketched stick figure or that, in fact, she may have been dead for some time now, Oyeyemi never lets her characters become ciphers or stand-ins. Point of view within the novel is complex and unconventional, with one of the first-person narrators being the Silver House itself. Confused. "[3] Writing in Callaloo, Aspasia Stephanou praised White Is for Witching for subverting "the conventional and metaphorical associations of vampirism with the “foreign” other, as the British Nigerian Ore draws upon her knowledge of the soucouyant in order to try to understand and explain the dangerous matriarchal line of Miranda Silver’s British ancestors. It's a character, but a monstrous one who keeps the women in the family for itself. June 1st 2009 What I do know though is that I absolutely loved it, despite often having no clue what the hell was going on. Maybe the house was playing tricks on me. But in the end even those sentences did not make up for my disappointment. In a vast, mysterious house on the cliffs near Dover, the Silver family is reeling from the hole punched into its heart. I finished this book quite a while ago, and I’m still not at all certain of what I read. All is not well with the house, either, which creaks and grumbles and malignly confuses visitors in its mazy rooms, forcing winter apples in the garden when the branches should be bare. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. White is established as the marker of evil, a whiteness that embodies British nationalism. It was only 200 pages or so. When Ore arrives, the house attacks her repeatedly. The family moves to Dover, England and turns the home into a bed and breakfast. i read this. So, I'm still trying to digest things on this one. I DNFed it. The groove. Melancholy and spooky, I felt like the whole reading experience had me teetering on the edge of discomfort. Miranda struggles with her grief, to the point where she develops an eating disorder called pica, having an appetite for inedible things like rocks, plastic cutlery, and twigs. Helen Oyeyemi is the author of five novels, most recently White Is for Witching, which won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award, Mr. Fox, which won a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Boy, Snow, Bird. Sade tells her that the house is a monster and gives her salt and chili peppers for protection. The novel ends where it began. The story opens with a passage intentionally reminiscent of "Snow White," describing the mysterious imprisonment? White is for Witching has the subtle occlusions of her previous two works with a tenacious undertow, drawing the reader into its deeper currents." it's not a traditional story, it's kind of fairy-tale-like, but even that... there are characters who are involved heavily, and then they are absent from the narrative, never to return. Refresh and try again. Lily is gone and her twins, Miranda and Eliot, and her husband, the gentle Luc, mourn her absence with unspoken intensity. Title: White Is For Witching Format: Paperback Product dimensions: 240 pages, 8 X 5.1 X 0.8 in Shipping dimensions: 240 pages, 8 X 5.1 X 0.8 in Published: 15 juin 2010 Publisher: Penguin Canada Language: English Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading White is for Witching. The Silver House and its ghosts are enraged that Miranda has fallen in love with a black woman, and turn their violent tendencies against her and Ore. I can see this book being the subject of coffee table chatter at cocktail hour or at a ivy league campus book club, but not anywhere close to Paris, Illinois. After Ore leaves, Miranda steels herself to fight the Silver House and its ghosts, deciding that she can't be "herself plus all her mothers." But it also *is* the women in the family. I was never able to find the rhythm of this. Combining elements of ghost, vampire, and haunted house stories, White Is for Witching concerns a twin named Miranda and her relationship with the sentient, xenophobic house she inhabits. It took me over a week to finish this very short book. She lives in Prague. This Miranda desperately tries to climb back into the skin, while Ore manages to escape the house (with help from Sade) and goes home. This one has a creepy house which is given a voice in the narrative which I really liked. (And moan, I think she wrote this one when she was 23.) Sometimes I lost who the narrator was, I had to go back to find him/her/it. Girl has a way with words, a way with weird, and a way with witching. There are three narrators--Minerva, a yougn lady who suffers from pica (eating stuff like clay and chalk), Ore, a girlfriend Minerva meets in college, and the house. There’s something strange about the Silver family house in the closed-off town of Dover, England. It was only 200 pages or so. The novel, Oyeyemi's third, won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. Lily is gone and her twins, Miranda and Eliot, and her husband, the gentle Luc, mourn her absence with unspoken intensity. The house in this book isn't so much haunted as it is as alive as the people in the story. I enjoyed Mr. Fox and I loved Boy, Snow, Bird so I'm tempted. Again I had to go back to find it, the time. I think Oyeyemi is, This is the first book I'd read by Helen Oyeyemi, and I instantly had to purchase everything else. On her return, someone has heaped all-season apples in the kitchen. —The Independent "Oyeyemi is a writer who moves easily between the literary, the demotic and the supernatural…. Not for me. One of Granta ’s Best Young British Novelists. Twins Miranda and Eliot Silver and their parents, Lily Silver and Luc Dufresne, run a bed-and-breakfast out of Lily's childhood home, 29 Barton Road in Dover. Eliot answers that Miranda has been missing for six months. But in the end even those sentences did. At once an unforgettable mystery and a meditation on race, nationality, and family legacies, White is for Witching is a boldly original, terrifying, and elegant novel by a prodigious talent. The New York Times called the novel "a delightfully unconventional coming-of-age story" but added that the story "is suffering ever so slightly under the weight of a political agenda. Ore accepts, though she's been warned about Dover's reputation for xenophobia. Meanwhile Miranda continues to lose weight due to her eating disorder and begins to show characteristics (appearances, behaviors, idiolects) of the deceased women from her maternal line, to the extent that her own twin mistakes her for their mother. It slipped away. Threesome! Okay, I finished this. Should be fine, though challenging. Because it's darn confusing. However, everything was so muddled. Both books have lovely cover art and great titles, the other book was Boy, Snow, Bird. Show 0 comments. I just couldn't grasp it. To see what your friends thought of this book. About White is for Witching. All this going back was made easy by the delicious sentences. death? This book gave me some serious Haunting of Hill House vibes. Miranda, who has a pre-existing pica eating disorder, descends into depression and ultimately suffers a mental break that results in a five-month clinic stay. Maybe it has to to with the stopped watch. "[2], "Helen Oyeyemi's White Is for Witching and the Discourse of Consumption", "Review: White Is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi", "White is for Witching, by Helen Oyeyemi", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=White_Is_for_Witching&oldid=973615287, Short description with empty Wikidata description, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 18 August 2020, at 06:40. Thanks! Start by marking “White is for Witching” as Want to Read: Error rating book. The writing is just broken sentences and thoughts. "[1] The Guardian was critical, calling it "a ghost story without much of a ghost, or a story. It follows twins, Eliot and Miranda, after the death of their mother in Haiti. This book is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. i'm not sure how to review it. ISBN-13: 9781594633072 Summary Miranda is at home—homesick, home sick ... As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. I think once again that Oyeyemi was trying to play around with too many genres and none of them worked. Narrative structure and clarity is not to be found here although she does create poetry with her words. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, 9780330458153, available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. White Is for Witching (published in Britain as Pie-kah) is a 2009 novel by British author Helen Oyeyemi. Because it's darn confusing. Floating around there's also a delightful amount of queerness and interrogation of the UK's racist and anti-immigrant/refugee ideologies. And Miranda, with her new appetite for chalk and her keen sense for spirits, is more attuned to them than she is to her brother and father. And “White Is for Witching” turns out to be a delightfully unconventional coming-of-age story. I wanted something more. Empty. Miranda has been missing for six months, since the apple pie incident. I'm considering assigning this as an option for an independent reading assignment for a class of high school sophomores (all girls). Unfortunately, I feel a bit like I did after reading the Goon Squad: that is, maybe there is nothing to find and so it's not really that the book is challenging me, but instead is simply that I am second guessing my own reaction. It kills me, full on kills me that she is writing like this and she's only, dear god, 26 years old. Sometimes when I'm reading a book, it's so out there that it makes me feel stupid. but in a novel, i have certain expectations of structure and novel-sense which are not being satisfied here. [4] All of the first-person narrators are unreliable, and the third-person narrator cleaves so closely to Miranda's perspective as to reflect her biases and hallucinations. Which, now that I write it out, is fairly apt: this book gets a million stars for its knock-out language and harrowing captivation, but I just never really felt like I understood what it all, Bewildered. The premise sounded so interesting and fascinating, but the execution didn't really impress me. White Is for Witching blends gothic horror, racial politics, and the older, bloodier sort of fairy tales into a deeply unsettling novel. I read another one by her that I liked a bit better. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published This now Luc speaking 's Beloved and Chris Abani 's Song for Night. 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