Witchcraft Couture

Fiction - General
312 Pages
Reviewed on 12/23/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Katarina West was born in Helsinki, Finland, into a bilingual family that in addition to humans consisted of dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, canaries, rabbits and – thanks to her biology teacher mother – stuffed owls and squirrels.
She spent time travelling in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and went on to study at Queen Mary and Westfield College in London and the European University Institute in Florence, where she completed a PhD in political science and published a book based on it, Agents of Altruism. During those student years she started work as a journalist, and continued writing for various Finnish magazines and newspapers for over ten years, writing on various topics from current events and humanitarian issues to celebrity interviews and short stories. She also briefly worked as a university lecturer on humanitarian issues in Northern Italy.
Katarina lives in an old farmhouse in Chianti with her husband and son and when not writing, she is fully immersed in Tuscan country life, from jam-making and olive-picking to tractor maintenance.
Witchcraft Couture is her first novel and, unlike the unearthly clothes in its pages, her outfits are not shining.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

Federico was a good artist but he was more troubled than he was talented. He had been hired and fired from several jobs over the years due to his unreliability. As he settled in at his latest job, his ghosts followed him and soon he realised that, however much he tried, this job was to be no different from his previous ones. Once again, he found himself succumbing to creative block and hence unable to meet the deadline for the required sketches. Running way from his problems and in desperate need of inspiration, he flew to St Petersburg. Little did he know that this spur-of-the-moment trip would be the beginning of a whole new chapter in his life. While in Russia, Federico had a chance encounter with the most enchanting woman he had ever seen, Black Angel, and the encounter led to a series of bizarre and hazy events resulting in his possession of the Sampo, a machine with such strong magical powers that it could make the owner's wishes come true.

Witchcraft Couture by Katarina West is a rather unusual kind of story filled with drama, magic, suspense, humor and intrigue. The writing style is unique and fitting and it allowed me to see deep into the main character's thoughts and feelings, and hence have a better understanding of his troubled soul. By allowing him to tell his own story, the author allowed the main character to connect more with the reader, and reading the book felt more like listening to him narrate his story. The plot is unique and intriguing and, from one chapter to the next, Katarina West revealed further the depth of Federico's troubles so the reader could understand their source. I found the introduction of the ancient legend of the Sampo into the modern day clothing industry to be fascinating and uniquely done.