ARC Review: THE WITCH OF TIN MOUNTAIN by Paulette Kennedy

I received an eARC from the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title in white on image o a woman in a white dress with back turned in front of blue mountains
Genre: Historical
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: standalone


Book cover for THE WITCH OF TIN MOUNTAIN: Title in gold on pale blue with an image of a woman in white with back turned

Blood and power bind three generations of women in the Ozark Mountains. So does an evil that’s followed them across the decades.

1931. Gracelynn Doherty lives peacefully on Tin Mountain, helping her adoptive granny work her cures. Despite whispers that the women are witches, the superstitious locals still seek them out, whether they suffer from arthritis or a broken heart. But when evangelist Josiah Bellflower comes to town touting miracle healing, full bellies, and prosperity, his revivals soon hold Tin Mountain in thrall—and Granny in abject fear.

Granny recognizes Josiah. Fifty years ago, in a dark and desperate moment, she made a terrible promise. Now Josiah, an enemy, has returned to collect his due.

As Granny sickens and the drought-ridden countryside falls under a curse, Gracelynn must choose: flee Tin Mountain and the only family she knows or confront the vengeful preacher whose unholy mission is to destroy her.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


THE WITCH OF TIN MOUNTAIN is a book about family, home, and persecution hiding in the guise of religion as a town turns swiftly on Gracelynn.

This book is part historical, part gothic horror, with demons in human skin and villages turning on isolated women. It has more supernatural elements than Paulette Kennedy’s first book, weaving it into the harsh but beautiful landscape. Gentry (a preacher from Granny’s timeline) is very creepy, appearing like a visitation at times, with a promise of menace about him.

The book alternates between Gracelynn and Deirdre (her granny), fifty years apart but facing the same evil in a small town that readily shuts out those who are different, even if all they’ve done is help people. Not only are Gracelynn and Deirdre both women, but they’re both queer (as are other characters in the book) and are threatened for both reasons. Like PARTING THE VEIL, THE WITCH OF TIN MOUNTAIN brings LGBT+ people back into the history they’ve been erased from.

The book starts with a slow burn unease at what’s happening in the town as the preachers arrive. There’s a creepy sense of dread that something awful will happen and then – particularly in Gracelynn’s chapters, where the climax of both timelines occurs – the threat accelerates into a gallop of mortal danger and unfair persecution. The acceleration across the book starts off almost imperceptible, so that you’re pulled along without noticing the ratchetting tension until it’s taut and ready to snap.

The “preachers” of this book are vile. Not only are the arriving ones literal demons in flesh form, but all of them pressure women into sex – and still go about hypocritically accusing women of sin if they have sex outside of marriage. There can be such hypocrisy within religious (and secular) institutions and this book shines a light on them with most of the villains of the book being part of an institution.

I am looking forward to her next book!

Read my reviews of other books by Paulette Kennedy:


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