Review of ‘Cackle’

Cackle takes readers by surprise with a surprisingly cozy and heartwarming read.

Storytelling & Characterization

Cackle
Rachel Harrison
Berkley

Someone needs to tell me why this story was categorized as horror when it was first published because, after reading it, nothing was frighting or scary throughout the whole book. If anything, it was the complete opposite. And that’s not a bad thing.

The story follows Annie, who has been unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend of 10 years. Eager to mend her broken heart, she takes a teaching job in a tiny little village in upstate New York. This is where she meets Sophie.

Everyone in the town is polite and friendly, but when it comes to Sophie, who Annie is immediately drawn to, they seem a little afraid of her. Slowly Annie begins to discover that Sophie is a witch.

It was fun how Cackle developed the relationship between Sophie and Annie. Sophie has this way of talking that lets the reader in on the secret of what she is. But what made it heartwarming was how she challenged Annie and pushed her to find comfort within herself. I loved that the storytelling focused on Annie finding her voice and identity.

For so long, Annie’s life was wrapped around her relationship. Annie didn’t even realize there was anything wrong in the relationship. And in the end, she didn’t know who she was outside of it.

As the story continues, even her ex/best friend gives little snide remarks to make her feel wrong about the relationship, and by the end, we all realize just what type of person he is.

Annie spends the story figuring out who she is with the help of Sophie, and It is such an incredible journey. She learns so much about herself, but the reader also learns so much about Sophie.

The question you ask yourself throughout the story is, is she a good witch or a bad witch? Neither and both. She’s a woman who has gone through so much and learned to love herself despite all the pain inflicted upon her.

There are some moments with ghosts and kids coughing up spiders. But even those moments aren’t scary or frightening. Instead, they exist within the story’s scope to add some context and history.

Final Thoughts

Cackle is a heartwarming read. Both thoughtful and charming, it is a novel you can curl up to and read in one sitting.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: August 30, 2022Page Count: 304ppAge Range: 16 & Over
ISBN: 978-0-5932-0203-6Publisher: BerkleyList Price: $17.00

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