motherhorror's review against another edition

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Review blurb: "Two stories in one and it's my opinion that the story about The Hag Witch of Tripp Creek is the stronger offering. An unexpected and compelling storyline but with a gentle warning that there are some explicit scenes involving children and animals. I will gladly read more from Somer Canon."

I'm always game for a good story about witches. THE HAG WITCH OF TRIPP CREEK had me at the title and that it was written by Somer Canon. I had previously read a short story of Somer's in an anthology and was eager to read more. I enjoyed this book but it's my opinion that this book is two stories in one and one story is clearly much stronger, making me feel like this would have been better had the focus stayed on Suzanne's story instead of Dawna's.
We meet a couple named Dawna and John who are retreating from a busy lifestyle in the city in order to find some rest for John who is suffering a mental breakdown and needs some care.
They wind up in the woods of West Virginia. Dawna is immediately curious about a neighbor named Suzanne--they learn people think she's a witch.
This transitions over to Suzanne's story when Dawna and Suzanne strike up a friendship and Dawna begins to learn about Suzanne's backstory. Suzanne explains her involvement in a family drama so many years ago. This is where the story takes a pretty dark turn. I do feel obligated to insert some trigger warnings here for some pretty explicit details of child abuse and rape.
It was really startling given that nothing on the back of the book suggests that this will be part of the storyline. I almost quit at this point because I just don't enjoy enduring such graphic violence involving children but Somer Canon is a convincing storyteller and I felt invested enough to see where it was all going to go.
The main character, Suzanne makes some pretty remarkable choices that keep the reader engaged. It's my opinion that when the story returns to the present-day narrative with our protagonist from the beginning, Dawna, the story becomes a little unraveled. I didn't particularly care for the ending and I feel unsatisfied with the way things turned out.
However, this was a very entertaining read and it has done the job of convincing me that I would love to read more of Somer Canon's work. I loved the way she developed her characters, especially the unrelenting, resourceful Suzanne, the Hag Witch of Tripp Creek!

ericarobyn's review against another edition

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The Hag Witch of Tripp Creek by Somer Canon is a heartbreaking and totally captivating tale. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t stop reading.

While this story needs a few trigger warnings; child abuse, rape, and domestic violence being the biggest one.

I will say that I thought that each element was handled wonderfully. But please know that if any of these things are triggering to you, you may want to skip this one. The author didn’t shy away from the horror of it all, but she didn’t dive to heavily into the finer details of each event either.

When a couple moves away from the city in order to decrease the amount of stress in their lives, they learn that one of their neighbors is rumored to be a witch.

Refusing to allow rumor and prejudices influence her, Dawna heads right to the witches home to introduce herself. Upon meeting the neighbor, Suzanne, Dawna and Suzanne become fast friends.

Over time, Suzanna tells her haunting story to Dawna…

While this story centered upon the couple and their personal lives and struggles, the heart of the story lay with Suzanne and her past. The message? Even the best of intentions can have disastrous consequences, and those consequences can spill over and infect the lives of others.

My goodness, the characters in this story! I really felt for them. The unfairness of some situations is just too much. Put in the same place that Suzanne found herself in, I can’t say I would have taken a different route.

There is so much more that I would love to say about this one, but I don’t want to give any of the plot away!

On a last note, I will just say… THAT ENDING! God I love endings like this! While on one hand it leave the story open to a follow up if the author wanted to do so, it’s also perfectly satisfying as it lets the reader imagine what could happen next.

My Favorite Passages
This house looked like it had made friends with the wildness that ruled the area and was allowed a space in which to snuggle in, not disturbing anything, but not being overgrown either.

The world is cruel enough without people having to add to it, you know?

The next several hours faded into a haze so thick but the only thing that Dawna could comprehend was the pain spreading through her whole being, like venom traveling through her veins with every twist of her heart.

Gray skies look down on the skeletal fingers of the tall trees, pointed and lonely without the verdant greens of their foliage.

My Final Thoughts
This is one that I highly recommend just diving into! Somer Canon’s writing style will hook you from the start and draw you deeper and deeper into the story as it goes along.

I really enjoyed that this had a peaceful and friendly start, but quickly jumped back into the past and got very dark. I loved that it was organized as a story within a story as it gave the readers more insight into the rumored witch that Dawna had become so close with.

This one is just screaming for an adaptation!