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THE SEVENTH WITCH
By Shirley Damsgaard
Avon, 2010 ($7.99)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Librarian/Psychic Ophelia Jensen travels from her Iowa home with her Grandmother Abby and her parents to the mountains of North Carolina. Abby has only recently learned the extent of her psychic abilities, and that this "gift," in various permutations, has been passed down through her maternal line for generations. Her mother somehow missed out, but Abby has been helping Ophelia fine-tune her abilities as a medium. Even Ophelia's adopted daughter Tink has special talents, and Abby gives her guidance too.
The reason for the visit to her ancestral home is to celebrate the 100th birthday of her Great Aunt Mary. Mary sees spirits, and during the few times Abby has seen her through the years, she was always a little frightened of the woman, who never looked at anyone directly, always seeming to be seeing someone or something just over the person's shoulder. On this visit, Ophelia is not only frightened of Mary, but angry. Her great aunt makes it obvious she resents her being there, and forbids her to go poking around in family history. Of course that makes Ophelia curious, and she soon runs afoul of the Moran family, a creepy bunch who are feared by the whole community. Sharon Moran has a special hatred for Ophelia, who has never even met the woman. Ophelia wants to know why, and also why her family sold one acre of their land to the Morans. It's not just any acre, it has a clearing with an ancient circle of standing stones, a place where Ophelia has two very different visions: one of great peace and beauty, and one of horror and violence.
It is interesting to learn more about Ophelia's relatives, roam the beauty of the North Carolina mountains, and visit a place where, aside from telephones and big-screen TVs, people live pretty much like they have for centuries. This latest entry in the Ophelia and Abby mystery series is enjoyable, and readers old and new will find it entertaining.
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