It’s no secret I’m a fan of writer, author, teacher, activist and creator of the alternative parenting magazine Hip Mama Ariel Gore. Her memoir Atlas of the Human Heart is a favorite of mine. And I also love the non-fiction Bluebird and Gore’s primer on writing How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead.
Now Gore is back with another tremendous book, a novel called We Were Witches.
“My body is a curio shop.” – Ariel Gore from We Were Witches
We Were Witches is a creative blend of memoir and fiction. We Were Witches is about a struggling single mom named Ariel and her beloved daughter Maia.
Ariel is determined to better her life by getting a college education and working less than desirable work/study jobs in a post-Reagan world of “family values,” skimpy child support checks, a shitty ex, less than ideal parents and a safety net made of spider webs.
But Ariel does have a lot of things going for you including an excellent education, an oddball assortment of loving friends, her own creativity, resourcefulness and writing talent. Ariel also has a street smart wisdom, her feminist spirit animals and Maia’s unconditional love.
As We Were Witches unspools Ariel learns to embrace being a square peg and refuses to whittle herself into a round one.
Vividly written with passages I saw in mind’s eye (especially the one on Maia’s birth, which chilled me) We Were Witches is simply one of my favorite novels of the year!