Clara Winters is a ‘natural witch’ and a woman frozen in time. She has been in her twenties for decades, ever since the night before she was left at the altar. Her great love, Wesley Russell, is the man who abandoned her years ago. And a vampire.
At its heart, The Midnight Circle is a story of a potentially tragic romance, between its main character and her “summer boy”.
Even though the two of them love each other deeply, the spell of the Midnight Circle keeps them apart. Originally intended to protect, once Wesley becomes a vampire, he cannot remain near her without suffering pain and sickness. The relationship between these characters; the word game they frequently play when together, the deep love and unspoken resentment felt is richly detailed and very real.
Despite the main character being a witch, it didn’t seem like there was a great deal of magic being performed, other than the titular spell. Clara tends to rely mainly on her power of persuasion, either to deflect questions or to convince others to follow her suggestions. What magic there is mainly comes in the form of dreams and visions, which Clara uses to guide her after the loss of the aunt who raised her.
Loss is also big part of the book. It opens with the death of the last of Clara’s relatives, in addition to her ongoing feelings of abandonment from Wesley leaving her. But as Clara follows her visions and begins to reconnect with the world away from the family home, there is a strong sense of hope that she won’t be left alone in the world and that there will be a way to undo the spell so she and Wesley can be together.
The writing is quite beautiful and evocative, particularly when discussing scenery, although it may not be to everyone’s taste. Even though I came to enjoy it, I did find it a little hard going initially. But I’m glad I stuck with it because the Midnight Circle is a rewarding read. And like all good books, leaves enough unanswered questions to leave you wanting more.
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