Published: 23 August 2022
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Length: 336 pages
Reading dates: 20-25 Aug 2022
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon has lived her life by three rules: hide your magic, keep your head down, and stay away from other witches. An orphan raised by strangers from a young age, Mika is good at being alone, and she doesn’t mind it . . . mostly.
But then an unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches, and Mika jumps at the chance for a different life.
Nowhere House is nothing like she expects, and she’s quickly tangled up in the lives and secrets of its quirky, caring inhabitants . . . and Jamie, the handsome, prickly librarian who would do anything to protect his charges, and who sees Mika’s arrival as a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika finds her feet, the thought of belonging somewhere starts to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and soon Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect the found family she didn’t know she was looking for . . .
Mika Moon is a witch. She was born in India and because all witches become orphans at a very young age, Mika was rescued by Primrose who brought her back to England and became her guardian. Now as an adult, Mika likes to “pretend” to be a witch on social media and has amassed quite a following. Witches live secret and often isolated lives but meet occasionally to catch up on spells and gossip, and Mika has nicknamed these meetings, The Very Secret Society of Witches, much to Primrose’s annoyance.
One day she is contacted by a man called Ian who has seen her videos online and sends her a message saying “Witch Wanted”. Her curiosity piqued, she travels to Nowhere House in Norfolk, to see what the job could be. There to her amazement she discovers a small group of adults tasked to look after 3 little girls…who to her surprise turn out to be witches! The trouble is the have no control of their magic, and with an important visit imminent, Mika is tasked with teaching the girls how to handle their powers.
For some reason I thought this was a YA book (maybe the title) but it’s definitely an adult book. Mika is a fantastic character – funny and quirky, kind and loving. The supporting characters at Nowhere House were also great – gay older couple Ian and Ken, Lucie and Jamie the grouchy but sexy librarian all care for the girls so much and are thrilled Mika is a real witch who can help them. The girls and Jamie don’t immediately warm to Mika, especially Terracotta who to begin with, likes to tell Mika how she would like to kill her!
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches is a wonderful, charming and romantic story which came at exactly the right time for me, as I fancied something a little different to the usual stories I read. I’m very much hoping for a sequel to see what happens to Mika and her protegee witches next!
Thank you to Kate Keehan for my lovely proof package!
About the author
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids. Her work includes Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom, A Spark of White Fire, Color Outside the Lines, and more!