AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Witches by Brenda Lozano

Publication Date: August 16, 2022
Format: Audio
Genre:  Magical realism
Narrators: Kyla Garcia

Publisher: Highbridge 
 6 hours 53 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


Paloma is dead. But before she was murdered, before she was even Paloma, she was a traditional healer named Gaspar. Before she was murdered, she taught her cousin Feliciana the secrets of the ceremonies known as veladas, and about the Language and the Book that unlock their secrets.

Sent to report on Paloma's murder, Zoe meets Feliciana in the mountain village of San Felipe. There, the two women's lives twist around each other in a danse macabre. Feliciana tells Zoe the story of her struggle to become an accepted healer in her community, and Zoe begins to understand the hidden history of her own experience as a woman, finding her way in a hostile environment shaped by and for men.

Weaving together two parallel narratives that mirror and refract one another, this extraordinary novel envisions the healer as storyteller and the writer as healer, and offers a generous and nuanced understanding of a world that can be at turns violent and exultant, cruel and full of hope.


Told in dual narratives.  Zoe is a reporter who travels to a mountain village to do a story on Paloma's murder, but what she finds is a famous healer, Feliciana.  She listens to Feliciana's story of being a woman who does healing work that is usually done by men.  When men were jealous of her she had been shot, her house set fire, etc.  Men can't handle women being powerful. Feliciana is Paloma's sister, she was born a man but lives as a woman, she gave up practicing the healing ceremonies so she could live the way she wanted. 

Zoe's story wasn't as strong as Feliciana's but it still showed how it is to be a woman in today's society. Her sister is a rebel who walks to the beat of her own drum, getting kicked out of schools, bi-sexual, and unapologetic.  Zoe is not like her sister but seems to appreciate her boldness and the way she is so comfortable in her own skin.

This book is about learning to be yourself despite the gender you are born.To learn to live in the present and leave the past behind. To be proud of yourself and the hardships that women endure in life and how men can often be scared of strong empowered women which is why they make laws to hold them down, use their physical strength to dominate. There are stories of sexual assault, abortions, HIV and the way women's lives are made difficult. Mexican healing traditions, and magic swirl throughout the book which is written in a beautiful Spanglish prose. 

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