Somebody tell Aunt Tillie
Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead: Toad Witch Series, Book 1
Written by: Christiana Miller
Narrated by: Marie Rose
Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
Series: Toad Witch, Book 1
Whispersync for Voice-read
A little magic can go a long way - to really screwing up a girl's life!
Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that's what her cards tell her and they've never been wrong. She's evicted from her apartment, loses her job, and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right.
Suddenly, an aunt she's never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She's still one pissed-off old lady, even postmortem, and she blames Mara's magical meddling for her death.
When Mara accidentally releases a demon and awakens the spirit of the most powerful witch in history, Tillie's ready to kill her - literally. It's the only way she can think of to save the girl from herself. The witch and the demon, however, have other plans for Mara's body
So, how did it all pan out for Mara?
Well, She doesn't seem to be the brightest of witches, but this just as well really as the story does depend on her penchant for making rather silly choices, this is despite being given some sensible advice. However, she can be forgiven her ineptitude as her mother didn't stay in this world long enough to train her in the art of ...what? Witchcraft? Wicca? Paganism?
The reader is introduced to Mara when, through no fault of her own, she is living a life of what one can only describe as being reduced circumstances. She really is in a bit of a fix, her unemployment payments are coming to an end, not a job in sight, and, to add insult to injury she is being evicted. Something must be done! Her gay best friend Gus ( and his toad) come to her rescue, but only to make matters worse. Life as Mara knows it is ending, so she casts her problems upon the Universe and the Universe responds. The response being the death of Aunt Tillie who bequeaths to Mara her cottage.
I did find this first part of the story to be quite slow and hard to stick with, so many seemingly unnecessary details. Indeed, I found myself urging Aunt Tillie to get on with dying so Mara could move to her cottage and for the story proper to begin!
Mara prepares herself for the long drive to The Cottage, best friend Gus kitted her out for the journey and new life with a box full of herbs and supplements and, possibly for a bit of company, his toad.
Eventually Mara and her toad arrive at Aunt Tillies cottage, and this is where the story really begins. There are some humorous moments to be enjoyed, a little romance, a little interaction with the locals. Then, in my opinion the story takes a surprisingly dark turn, malevolence and evil raise their ugly heads like interlopers. This, I must say, I did not expect and I found it quite shocking, out of place and not in keeping with the beginning and the end of the story.
Of course, all is well eventually, Mara concocts a wonderfully clever plot to release the possessed soul and the way is paved for a sequel.
This book is not at all what I was expecting, I thought it would be lighthearted and funny, as suggested by the cover and the publishers summary. I most certainly was not expecting such explicit adult content nor a story that is so very dark and disturbing.
I also expected so much more from Aunt Tillie, who, poor soul, certainly didn't get the back story she deserved, after all, she does feature in the title of the book.
Narrator Mary Rose
For me, the audiobook was saved by the narration of Marie Rose, I certainly would not have finished this book if I were reading it myself. Not only does Marie Rose have such a lovely voice, she just captures each character so perfectly. I could identify each character quite easily. Her pace and rythymn are just right, so natural sounding from beginning to end. I shall certainly be on the look out for more of her work.