Book Review: The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

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The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

Genevieve Gornichec’s debut novel, The Witch’s Heart, takes the Norse characters and myths we are familiar with and gives them a new voice. Instead of the usual suspects, Odin and Thor, we are introduced to a minor character: the witch Angrboda, Loki’s first wife and the mother of his three children.

The Witch’s Heart begins with a heartbreaking scene in which Angrboda is being burned at the stake for the third time and her heart has been removed. She possesses the gift of seid, a kind of prophetic magic, which allows her to see into the future. Odin punishes her because she will not help him to see the future. She survives the burnings and finds herself stripped of her powers. Angrboda is now at the edge of the world, her body is slowly healing and she is reduced to foraging for roots just trying to survive.

Loki, the frost giant trickster god finds her and returns her heart to her. It’s at this point, where as a Marvel fan I can’t help but hear Tom Hiddleston, the actor who portrays Loki in the Marvel movies. “You’re a difficult woman to find.” See…I bet you just imagined the same thing!

Unlike the Loki we are accustomed to in the movies, this Loki is angsty, bored, and lacking in charisma. Angrboda is distrustful, as she should be, but Loki is persistent, he continues to insinuate himself into her life. She is content to live a solitary life in a cave. Despite Loki’s many antics and their frequent arguments, they fall in love and have three ill-fated children: the wolf Fenir, the Midgard serpent Jormungandr, and the half-dead girl and future Queen of the dead Hel.

Angrboda’s friend, the huntress giant Skadi, helps her to hide her family from the all-seeing eye of Odin. The threat that her unique family poses to the gods in Asgard will not go unnoticed for long. Angrboda’s prophetic visions of Ragnarok, or the apocalypse, and the role her children will play in the fall of the gods are a constant threat to her family’s safety. Angrboda must choose between letting the prophecy play out or somehow find a way to change the outcome.

The Witch’s Heart can be a bit slow-paced at times. This is a character-driven story of a woman who eventually learns to embrace her power. Angrboda makes the argument that the experiences of love and motherhood are equal to any epic battle waged by the gods. We get a glimpse into the complicated relationship with her “children” and the lengths she will go for love and vengeance.

Throughout the book, we are reminded that in Norse mythology, Ragnarok is inevitable. Angrboda, like all the others, is bound by fate. The author offers us a new perspective: instead of trying to alter the ending, focus on the small moments in your life, be present in your own life.

If you enjoyed Circe by Madeline Miller, you will love this book.

Review by Angela, Circulation Librarian

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National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month

I do not read very much poetry, but I make an effort each April.  If you are looking to broaden your horizons and read some poetry, Joy Harjo’s work is a good place to start.  Harjo is a recent Poet Laureate of the United States.  She lives nearby in the Mvskoke Nation of Oklahoma.

American Sunrise

Her latest work is An American Sunrise.  My favorite poem is The Fight

How we became human
How We Became Human, a previous collection, is both touching and thought provoking.  My favorite poem is The Last Song.

poems live life

I’ve enjoyed Chris Riddell’s art for some time now.  He paired 46 poems with original art.  Poems to Live Your Life By is worth a look.

 

Tom Taylor
Library Director

 

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New E-Books and E-Audiobooks – March 2021

E-Books

Because It’s Christmas: An Anthology by Debbie Macomber

Kitty’s Mix-Tape by Carrie Vaughn

A Shot in the Arm! Big Ideas that Changed the World Series, Book 3 by Don Brown

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe

There Is a Rainbow by Theresa Trinder, illustrated by Grant Snider

 

E-Audiobooks
Last Stand in Lychford: Witches of Lychford Series, Book 5 (unabridged) by Paul Cornell with Emma Newman

No One Is Talking About This: A Novel (unabridged) by Patricia Lockwood, Kristen Sieh

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New Fiction – March 2021

The Coming Storm by Mark Alpert

The Smash-Up by Ali Benjamin

The Kaiser’s Web by Steve Berry

Dark Sky by C.J. Box

Oslo, Maine by Marcia Butler

Three O’clock in the Morning by Gianrico Carofiglio

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark

Marley by Jon Clinch

Win by Harlan Coben

This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

Fast Ice by Clive Cussler

Calder Brand by Janet Dailey

Meant to Be by Jude Deveraux

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel

The Bounty by Janet Evanovich

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

Raft of Stars by Andrew Graff

The Opposite of Chance by Margaret Hermes

The Second Bell by Gabriela Houston

The Other Emily by Dean Koontz

The Blizzard Party by Jack Livings

A Matter of Life and Death by Phillip Margolin

Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters by Aimee Ogden

Destined for You by Tracie Peterson

Rincewind the Wizard by Terry Pratchett

An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn

Facing the Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

Quiet in her Bones by Nalini Singh

The Affair by Danielle Steel

A Rogue to Remember by Emily Sullivan

The Consequences of Fear by Jacqueline Winspear

Double Jeopardy by Stuart Woods

Creatures of Passage by Morowa Yejide

On Fragile Waves by Lily E. Yu

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