Book Club – Payback’s a Witch

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Ok, so you may have noticed I haven’t been around here as much.  Between Derek starting school (go Geoducks!), my job, and just plain adulting, life has been nuts.  Needless to say the book club ladies and I have read several books that I have not written about here.  Rather than beat myself up for not writing posts for all of them, I’m going to tell you the last few we’ve read and then devote the rest of this post to our most recent read (which I loved!).

Ooof, I’m realizing the last book I shared was Firekeeper’s Daughter.  Since then we’ve read:

  • One Life by Megan Rapinoe- My take was that she still has so much life to live, this memoir felt too soon.  I would say only read this if you’re really into soccer.  
  • The Lady Jewel Diviner by Rosalie Oaks- This is book 1 in a trilogy and I would definitely go back and read the rest.  It’s a witchy murder mystery set during the time of the French Revolution.  A real fun read!
  • The Only Back Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert- I chose this one thinking it was YA, but I didn’t realize just how young the Young Adults are that this book was written for!  It was cute, but definitely written for middle schoolers.  Whoops!

And now your caught up!  Our latest read was Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper and it was spectacular!  It was the perfect book for this time of the year, as the final scenes of the book took place right around Halloween.  The main character, Emmy, is from a small town where her family is one of the four magical families in town.  Every few years there is a competition where the other three families participate.  Emmy’s family is the Arbiter because she is led to believe her family has less powerful magic and the family’s strength lies in its strong ability to document the history of the town.

I really enjoyed this book for several reasons!  I loved all the magical elements and how they were incorporated into the town and the characters.  I also really enjoyed seeing the various relationships in town and how many strong women were in the book.  I also really liked that while Emmy was bisexual, that wasn’t a plot point…it just was.  As a member of another marginalized group, I can really appreciate this.  Representation matters and the more we have diverse fully realized characters in our literature, the better off we all are!

We met in person and it was so much fun.  There is a scene where one of the families hosts a celebration and serve lots of goodies like charcuterie and chocolates, so it was easy to decide what the menu should be. I served:

  • Meat and cheese platter
  • Grapes
  • Chocolates
  • Challah loaf
  • Black Forest cake- there is another scene and Emmy and another character take big bites of slices of Black Forest cake (which is one of Derek’s favorite desserts) 


I also served Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon.  Emmy actually mentioned Dark Horse in the book, so I was happy Derek was able to find it at our local Safeway and for only $9 to boot!

For being a Cab it was fairly mild, but still tasty.  It had an ABV of 14.5% so still heavy in that respect.  For the price, I thought this was a great Cab to have on hand.  Its mild flavor makes it a great wine to drink on its own this time of year.  I also feel like it would be a great wine for cooking!

Our next book will be The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  As always, you can see what else we’ve read on my Book Club Pinterest board.

I’d love to hear from any of you that have read Payback’s a With or The Beautiful Ones!

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