Review: Once a Witch

Once a Witch
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know I wrote a review, but it’s missing, so here goes – this is book one of what seems to be a two books series about a young teen, age 17, named Tamsin Greene. Tamsin longs for what she calls a “normal” life and begged to attend a prep school in NYC. She only goes home to the family’s farm in upstate NY for holidays and summer. Her family, you see, is not *normal*, as in they have Talents – they are witches, and have been for centuries, and sell love spell and sleeping potions out the back door in the middle of the night to the townspeople. Each Talent is unique – the ability to freeze people, to coerce people with the sound of your voice, or in the case of her handsome childhood friend who moved back from California after many years absence, to Travel through time, something that is forbidden. But Tamsin and Gideon are new to this game – Gideon because his mom married a non-believer and he grew up with magic forbidden, and Tamsin, because when she was born, her Grandmother, the matriarch of the clan, and a seer, said that she would be the most powerful of all, and a beacon in the future. But by age 8, her Talent hadn’t materialized, and she was left thinking that she didn’t belong – hence the school in NYC to be with normals. And she didn’t know the consequences of Traveling through time.

But one summer afternoon, as she was about to close, a man comes in, looking for a book – he finds it and pays for it, and as he is about to leave, he hesitates, as some customers do, and comes back, asking if they were that Greene family – that he had been sent here by another local proprietor, and needed help. He had been told to ask for Rowena Greene, Tamsin’s talented and powerful older sister under who’s shadow she had always lived. Tamsin, feeling sorry that she never got to do anything, decided to play along. The gentleman was looking for a clock that his family had lost in a poker game in 1899. So she enlisted the help of Gideon to travel through time, found the clock, but all was not right. The clock was actually something else, and she started a chain of events that could lead to the destruction of her family by one that had once been more powerful. Funny, irreverent, and with a great cast of characters from her extended family, it was a joy to read, although witches aren’t usually my thing. But this one was, primarily because it wasn’t about spells, and dark magic so much, but about gifts.

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