White is for Witching

I finished White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi the other night, and I had to stop and consider what I thought of it. I am torn about this one. I’ve always used the rating system on Goodreads, but I felt like I needed a clearer definition of what each rating meant to me to be able to rate this one. I created one and added it to my profile. I still had to think about it a bit, but I landed on three stars: It was all right and had some good qualities that made it worth reading.

The Silver family house is a creepy one, influencing the lives of the family within it in rather sinister ways. Miranda, one of the central characters, is especially susceptible to the machinations of house. She suffers from pica, eating things like plastic and chalk, and her condition becomes increasingly serious after the death of her mother. I was unclear whether the pica is genetic or the fault of the house. I blame the house. This is not my first book with a sentient house, but it is definitely the scariest.

Despite this interesting aspect, the characters were my least favorite part of the book, which is why this one was a challenge for me. I think it was intentional that Miranda and her twin brother were not complete. They had trouble thinking of themselves as individuals. I liked Ore the best, but she seemed incomplete too. Some characters entered and left the story suddenly.

One of the most interesting qualities of the book was the social relevancy. If houses were able to vote, this one would have voted in favor of Brexit. It would also approve of our president’s position on immigration.

Overall, I had issues with the characters but was intrigued with the premise enough to keep going. The most important thing I can say is that it made me continue to think about it when I was done reading.


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