inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
- Plot- or character-driven? Character
- Strong character development? No
- Loveable characters? Yes
- Diverse cast of characters? No
- Flaws of characters a main focus? No
In comparison to a lot of the books I read for book club, The Factory Witches of Lowell is a short, sweet, uncomplicated story. There’s not a lot of world building to get lost in, but just enough to sell the story of female empowerment and female characters discovering their collective and individual strengths. C S Malerich invites you straight into the story with a spell that genuinely weaves through the plot of The Factory Witches of Lowell in a way that I really enjoyed.
Unfortunately, the climax and the ending don’t quite pack the same punch. The characters face a problem which seems insurmountable, until suddenly they’ve unlocked the whole thing and their primary antagonist folds instantly. I won’t say that there’s no catharsis in that, nor does it come completely out of nowhere, but it didn’t feel entirely satisfying. Similarly, the ending wraps up quickly, despite the hints that there is more struggle still to come.
The strength of The Factory Witches of Lowell is in the way C S Malerich ties together witchcraft, more mundane forms of craft, and women’s work. I particularly enjoyed that defying a man was seen, by at least one man, as a symptom of witchcraft. The images of the women working together, casting their spells and sharing their strengths, are very powerful.
The fact that C S Malerich left us wanting so much more is surely a sign that she’s an author to look out for.
Moderate: Chronic illness
Minor: Misogyny, Sexism, and Slavery