Grey Magic began as a short story that featured in JT Lawrence’s anthology ‘Sticky Fingers’. But, as things generally go with witches, they tend to weave a particular type of spell and before you know it, you’re writing a whole book all about them … just them!
And that’s exactly what happened with Raven Kane, the modern day witch that JT Lawrence’s ‘Grey Magic’ is all about. If you met Raven, you’d think she were just like you and me: same problems and challenges; not enough money, house needs fixing, no decent men to meet … except the one who knocks on your door to arrest you for murder! Ok, so maybe not quite like you and me!
Let’s back up just a little bit here. Yes, Raven Kane is a witch. But you wouldn’t know it to look at her – she doesn’t fly around on a broomstick wearing a pointy black hat. She’s actually worried that she might be losing her touch. She’s a bit worn out, you see, feeling like she might have a bit too much on her plate. Her beloved home is literally falling down around her and she doesn’t have the means to fix it (apparently it’s not the done thing to wave your wand and make it all better). She’s expected to control a group of badly behaved Wayward Witches, who are getting increasingly out of hand by the day (think of a rowdy bunch of #FeesMustFall demonstrators with magic spells and potions at their disposal). Her neighbour – a priest, of all things! – insists on driving her completely insane. Her sister refuses to speak to her because she’s brought her niece into the so-called freak-circle of magical craziness. And if all this weren’t bad enough, she’s a ‘person of interest’ in a murder case – a crime that she’s well aware she committed, by the way! (No spoilers – she immediately makes it very clear she killed the person in question!)
She sounds completely awful doesn’t she? She’s not. Raven Kane is lovely. She’s quirky, she’s confused, she’s befuddled, she’s tired, she’s trying her best, she’s caring, she’s friendly (to most beings), she’s affectionate, she’s herself, and you’ll instantly feel like she’s the type of person you’d want to become friends with. That’s how I feel. Raven Kane is extremely likeable.
Lawrence has created a character who’s just like you and me: she’s flawed, has to deal with financial struggles, family challenges, relationship issues, and career dilemmas a-plenty! The only difference being that the career’s a little unique: she’s a witch!
I loved the book! The intricacies of how Raven deals with her particular demons, by discovering how her karmic journey has had to play out were fascinating, and left me wondering (once again) about the exploration of past lives and cosmic relationships.
It’s a book for dreamers, and perhaps not for those who are more rooted in practicality – but even then, I would suggest giving this a try. We all need our own sprinkling of magic every now and then.