The archangel Michael is often portrayed fighting evil with a great sword. - Wikipedia photo
She stepped back almost to the plank bridge, flung her powder left and right along the banks and shouted into the spinning sky, “There, now. There is Heaven’s holy ring shout.”
I saw the archangel swing His sword of light, while imagining those whom we captured by their
footprints leaving our forest to join the other wicked spirits who wander through a world for the ruin of souls.
Eulalie’s “Amen” opened the everlasting doors. We closed our eyes when lightning struck the angelica root without a sound. I smelled the branded Earth. I heard the song of the howling sky as two longleaf pines on the edge of the clearing fell before us striking the Earth like a tapping stick on a praise church floor. I feared to open my eyes, because I knew the archangel stood at the cross roads of those ancient trees ready to do battle on our behalf.
Excerpt from the Book
"The story is set in the Florida panhandle in the 1950s in a society dominated by racism, and tackles the serious issues of white violence, rape, day-to-day prejudice and mother/daughter relationships. This is a book that packs a lot into its 166 pages. Despite this bleak subject matter the book is beautifully written, allowing this Brit a vision of a place which the author knows well and clearly loves. The contrast of the natural beauty highlights the ugliness of human behaviour." - Zoe Brooks' Magical Realism Blog
“The novella’s tone and themes are similar in many ways to To Kill a Mockingbird, but with a heavy dose of magical realism. The story is engaging, with complex and believable characters, but I found it at least as fascinating as an account of traditional Southern black culture.” – Into the Wonder
“I found the characters well defined, believable, and they fit into the era the book was written to be in. Eulalie claims to be older than dirt, is full of gumption and spitfire. She has had a hard life and won’t take guff from anyone and she means to set things right.” – Big Al’s Books and Pals
“Of course, when any book is narrated by an animal, readers have to suspend their disbelief from the get-go. I didn't find that difficult with this book. I was quickly drawn in by Lena's unique voice, and by the mysterious goings-on around her and Eulalie. I loved the way Campbell made magic part of the fabric of the place.” – hearth/myth
“This literary gem is presented in the viewpoint of most curious and brilliant cat, Lena. What could be better than that? As sidekick to Conjure Woman Eulalie, this furry companion is dedicated tooth to claw to her magical, healing and cursing abilities. At times tragic, yet always lovely, the lyrical prose are crafted with such care I often found myself re-reading passages. Original and sublime, I devoured these inventive and often amusing words. Every single page features senses-popping descriptions only a true Southerner can conjure.” – Deborah J. Ledford, Author
“For me to truly love a book, it needs the following: great plot with something to get fired up about, intelligent, engaging storytelling, well-defined characters, at least one of whom makes me wish I could conjure them into my life and my living room, and a deeply satisfying conclusion. Campbell’s work delivers beautifully on all of the above.” – Word Nerd
"I was absorbed by the unfolding drama as it moved from dreamlike confusions to harsh reality and back. The underlying notes of music and magic help keep the sense of unsurmountable dread less endlessly stark and more hazed with hope." - Kae Bender, Editor and Writer
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"She arrived on Rosebud, her red Schwinn Phantom with baskets and bells. The baskets carried a black purse, a sack of potatoes, two canning jars of pole beans, and a smoked ham in a stockinette. She was singing, talking a song under her breath really, called 'The Blues What I Am.' My Conjure Woman always told folks she knew the blues in spades because so many people brought them to her door."
Pushcart Prize Nominee
A novella about a conjure woman named Eulalie and a black cat named Lena who make magic in the piney woods near the Apalachicola River in the Florida Panhandle.