“The Witch House of Persimmon Point” by Suzanne Palmieri

“This book may not be for you. I wrote this book for me. An exorcism of my own demons. My own experiences placed inside a fictional landscape that is safe. For me. But maybe not so safe for you, my dearests.”

I remember writing that The Witch of Bourbon Street was a hurricane. Well, The Witch House of Persimmon Point comes with a warning from Suzanne Palmieri herself. It’s life.

This book knows its pages owe you nothing, but it still offers you everything. There is a price to pay though. As it opens itself to you, it compels you to do the same. There will be no bonding from a distance, I am afraid, but if you allow yourself to put on the shoes offered to you, you will feel every single word. It’s painful, you will burn, but you will be reborn from the ashes.

“No, I want you to tell me so I can imagine it. It’s realer that way.”

I am not going to say I was not expecting this, because if there is something Suzanne Palmieri has taught me with her books is that anything can, and most definitely will, happen. Still, this was one of the rawest books I have read this year. There is no sugarcoating for the sake of the reader’s heart. This book is what it is, brave beyond words, some might say even beyond reason. That is where its power resides. People tend to think of exposition as vulnerability, weakness. This book revels in it, finds its strength in stripping itself of all the masks and acknowledging its core – I see you.

“Time doesn’t stop for tragedy or elation; it plods onward, always onward, for the living and sometimes even for the dead.”

Suzanne Palmieri’s writing is at its most powerful. It’s almost violent, but not without a purpose and not without its grace – a feather acknowledging its weight, a rose falling in love with its thorns. The honesty of it left me breathless. Oh, and the tenderness, particularly between Anne and William… Sigh. Suzanne Palmieri’s books are living proof that beauty is everywhere, you just need to want to see it, to be ready to face it.

I would say The Witch House of Persimmon Point is a fearless book – it is not without it, but it accepts, inhales, its existence.

“Life is about each other. A sum total of the impact you had on others. A collection of beauty. A retrospective. It is not changed or affected by the circumstances of the end. God, if only we all knew this epic truth. Each day, each breath inside a day, is a new moment to build love.”

There is one particular idea that had me closing the book to wonder. The colors retiring, almost as if slowly draining from the world due to being ignored over the fear that the end will taint everything else. How hopeful is it that it seems to be Maj’s favorite? It made my heart swell.

“So, leave your worries with your shoes and make a run for the ocean.”

The Witch House of Persimmon Point is a roller coaster with a delightful to be continued − I can’t say ending because part of Suzanne Palmieri’s magic is the life she breathes into these people, making them beyond real.

Maj is out there somewhere painting, introducing shades back into a world that now more than ever needs them. Oh, and Byrd… her voice is extraordinary and I can’t imagine her ever not existing. These stories, these disturbed and disturbing women, brought them here. I am grateful for the middle.


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