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Andrea Chats About "Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch"

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

For the past 17 years The Morning News website has conducted an annual Tournament of Books. It's a different type a different kind of book award—where the promotion and discussion of books are the primary goal, as well as having fun. It's quite the hoopla every year, and some great books have been in the competition. You can read about the history of the event here.

In the summer The Morning News stages an abbreviated Tournament of Books dubbed Camp Tournament of Books. During the Camp they spend three months reading books, discussing books, destroying friendships over books, and perhaps sneaking off to the counselors’ cabin to make out.

This summer our bookseller Andrea was selected to take part as an "Activity Leader" in the Camp. She chatted with the team leaders about the last book of the season Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch by Rivka Galchen. Part of her assignment was submitting a picture of the book. This is Arnie modeling with the book. He is neither a witch or a warlock, but he is feisty and may have superpowers.

Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch begins in 1618, in the German duchy of Württemberg. Plague is spreading. The Thirty Years' War has begun, and fear and suspicion are in the air throughout the Holy Roman Empire. In the small town of Leonberg in 1618, Katharina, an illiterate widow, is known by her neighbors for her herbal remedies and the success of her children, including her eldest, Johannes, the renowned author of the laws of planetary motion. It’s enough to make anyone jealous, and Katharina has done herself no favors by being out and about and in everyone’s business. So when the deranged and insipid Ursula Reinbold accuses Katharina of offering her a bitter, witchy drink that has made her ill, Katharina is in trouble. Her son must turn his attention from the music of the spheres to the job of defending his mother. Facing the threat of financial ruin, torture, and even execution, Katharina tells her side of the story to her friend and neighbor Simon, a reclusive widower imperiled by his own secrets (book description from publisher).

Click here for Andrea's discussion of the second half of the book with Andrew Womack, a founder of The Morning News. You can read the discussion of the first part of the book between Andrew and bookseller Jessica from East Bay California here.

Andrea reports that she had a lot of fun taking part in Camp Tournament of Books and would do it again in an instant if asked!

You can purchase of copy of Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch here.

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