Witches of East End is author Melissa de la Cruz's first novel for adults, following her best-selling young adult Blue Bloods series. Joanna Beauchamp and her two daughters Freya and Ingrid and witches living in North Hampton on Long Island . . . witches that have gone centuries without being allowed to practice their magic.
Joanna can't bring people back from the dead or heal them, Ingrid is banned from predicting the future and weaving her knots, and Freya is unable to make her charms and potions.
After centuries, though, these women, who the town doesn't know are witches, each find themselves in a situation where they decide to try using their magic again. Soon they're each practicing again and all is well until a woman goes missing.
During the first part of the book I wasn't sure if I was already supposed to know these characters, if they had been introduced somewhere else (be it a Blue Bloods book or somewhere else). I felt like the reader just wasn't quite getting the whole story. It felt like we started in the middle of something (and I don't mean the prologue) and went forward without the past explained at all until nearly the end. I think that may have been the plan, though, as this is a series, to slowly reveal the family's history and story and it was just a little too slowly to really engage me (or something).
Blue Bloods readers should note however that Witches is more grown up and aimed at a more adult audience than the YA series.
The relationship between Ingrid and Freya was nice in this first book, though, given how long they've been sisters/around, I do hope some more of it is developed in the next novels.
This is the first in the series and we now know what everyone can do, the basic gist of how they got to North Hampton, what they're doing now, and the side characters. We still don't know some of the back story and probably the bigger events in their lives (or the finer points of those events) so I hope some of that shows up in future books along with more exploration of interpersonal relationships.