Dear Darling Ones,
There’s a joke that goes around about how when men write country music songs about the end of relationships they’re sad tunes about how a woman took his hound dog and now his only friend is this whiskey. When women write country songs about the end of relationships the bastard ends up wrapped in a tarp at the bottom of a lake and nobody misses him at all.
This joke amuses me greatly. In general, women’s fury delights me and I love to listen to it or read about it.
And this is one of the myriad reasons I have a big ol’ crush on The Change by Kirsten Miller. How do I love this book? Let me count the ways.
- There is literally a bog witch. Her name is Harriett and she is my new fictional twin (sorry Beezus Quimby & Elizabeth Wakefield).
- Before she became a bog witch Harriett worked in advertising and after dealing with that bullshit she decided to fuck it all, turn her yard into powerful garden of poison and herbal remedies, let her hair go natural, and fuck as much as she wants to. Two words: Life goals.
- It’s a story of female friendship and power with a healthy dose of magical realism.
- One character can channel her rage & hot flashes into actual heat that leaves her finger tips, burning people and starting fires.
- There are stories of the bad things men do to women and girls and there is revenge. So much revenge.
- The three main characters are all nearly 50 and going through the change and wonder what that means for them biologically, emotionally, and sexually.
- “Only when her magic began to return did she realize just how much she’d given away.” This line reminds me of what I was belly-aching about last week. And makes me ponder what I’ve given away to the unworthy over the years.
- There’s a bit of mystery, the reveal of which was super obvious to me. That did not get in the way of my enjoyment.
- Despite the dark subject matter it’s funny. There’s some HOA fuckery about lawn mowing and tons of snark towards mediocre men in positions of power. And even some pointed towards husband who weaponized their haplessness to avoid doing housework.
- DID I MENTION THE BOG WITCH?
There are probably more reasons I’ll be thinking about this book long after I’ve finished it, but those are the highlights.
It makes me so goddamn happy to see character-driven books featuring 40+-year-old characters. I want more! I want more books about middle-aged women being women and not, as I have said before, sexless caregivers or embittered crones. If you too seek out more books like this, you should read Carry the Dog by Stephanie Gangi.
Your favorite spinster bog witch,