Author: A. Rose Pritchett
Narrator: Melanie Huesz
Length: 6 hours and 7 minutes
Publisher: A. Rose Pritchett
Released: June 11, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction; Young Adult
Boston, 1846. Eighteen-year-old Mildred Parish, a barber’s daughter, practices practical witchcraft using locks of hair obtained from her father’s customers. She’s very selective about who knows her secret and the kinds of spells she casts. Only people she trusts can know, and she must never cast a spell to harm another person. One of her father’s clients is Theodore O’Brian, an Irish immigrant whose family is fortunate enough to be wealthy. Mildred is head over heels in love with him, but he’s destined to be with someone else. One day, a woman named Trinity Hartell comes knocking on Mildred’s door. She has a vendetta against an entire family and wants Mildred to cast a death spell on them. The family? The O’Brians, including Theodore. Mildred refuses, but Trinity is set on getting what she wants, one way or another. Mildred now feels she must protect the O’Brian family and the man she loves, but she must also protect herself. How can she make sure Trinity is stopped without telling the entire city of Boston that she’s a witch?
Rose Pritchett’s writing career started in kindergarten when she daydreamed about being a fairy princess instead of learning subtraction. Her childhood obsession with American Girl turned her into an avid history lover. At seventeen, she moved from her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, to Savannah, Georgia, where she earned her BA in writing with a history minor from Georgia Southern University. She continues to live in Savannah, still daydreaming about princesses wearing gorgeous dresses. A LOCK OF HAIR is her debut novel.
Author A. Rose Pritchett’s Top Ten Reasons to Hear A Lock of Hair
- There’s a dog. Need I say more?
- It’s full of snarky humor. Especially from Mary, the peppery Irish girl.
- The story is about a Christian witch, written by an actual Christian witch. I used my personal experiences growing up in the Bible Belt with an interest in witchcraft and my knowledge of the practice at the time I wrote the first draft.
- The narrator is talented at conveying each character’s unique voice, and there are a wide range of characters from a variety of backgrounds.
- There’s disability representation. Roger has Down Syndrome, though for accuracy’s sake, it’s not mentioned in the actual story because the condition wasn’t named until later in the 19th century.
- It recognizes that there was racism, sexism, and ableism in a period that is often over-romanticized.
- There’s a focus on Irish-American history. Even though there’s a lot of controversy over how it should be discussed in comparison to African-American history, it still shouldn’t be ignored. Growing up, I had an overly-simplified version of my own history where things were bad in Europe, so they immigrated to America and things got better, not really knowing that white Americans discriminated against each other, as well. Meanwhile, even as a child, black history was never sugar-coated or simplified.
- The main character doesn’t scoff at feminine things, but is still strong. When I was about 15, a trend started in YA literature where the female leads had more masculine traits and hated things such as pretty dresses, for example. Those characters were seen as strong, independent role models for young women, while the more feminine characters were put in the supporting role. As someone who loves everything to do with pink and princesses and glitter, I had trouble calling myself a feminist because of this.
- It’s pacifist. Mildred’s main rule is to not purposefully harm others, which is something I value personally. While many stories focus on killing the bad guy, mine focuses on how to combat violence in a non-violent manner.
- By listening to this book, you’re supporting a disabled author. With the disability I have, finding a job that I can do is hard, so I cannot say how much I appreciate each and every single reader.
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