An utterly chilling, thrilling and astounding novel that would make anyone’s skin crawl. Although it is not a horror book, it’s much worse; it’s realistic! But with a hint of magic sinister and good since as readers find out that there is magic in the everyday.
So let’s takes a road trip up to Chico where Lacy lives with her Step-Mother after her father’s death. Lacy loves her life and is motified when her mother returns after three years of being awol and takes her back to Sacramento. There she begins to morph into the heartless and soulless girl she once was who had black hair and wore gratuitous amounts of eyeliner, but worst of all Lacy begins to use black magic. Cursing people and thinking evil thoughts that occasionally escape Lacy is becoming the girl she fears being; a monster. So how does Lacy fight her growing despicableness? Or will she let it conquer her? Well, you would have to read the book and find out!
Lacy is an amazing and complex protagonist who has known a lot of suffering and is a victim of abuse. So it’s not surprising when you learn of her smoking and thieving or when she uses her dark magic it’s typically in a justifiable situation. Yet Lacy is overcome with guilt and self hatred for her actions since she did a bad thing, she has a conscience. Although as the book progresses we get to meet many different Lacys who aren’t as nice, are more vengeful, more innocent and more fragile since Lacy is just a kid who wants to study botany and chemistry but is stirpped away from all that she loves and isolated with an abusive and wicked mother who turns her into another person. Typing of Lacy’s mother Cheyenne who is a beautiful and ageless woman that is quite adept at extortion and other crimes in order to survive. Cheyenne is a very talented manipulator who easily plays with Lacy, lovers and everyone one around her who begin to question their own sanity while in her presence. Readers learn more about Cheyenne’s past which is haunting and answers a lot of questions, but it in no way justifies her actions and makes Lacy seem all the more powerful for being able to go up against her mother. Another character worth mentioning is Anne, Lacy’s stepmother who is a good natured vegetarian who is terribly worried and avidly fighting for the right to take Lacy away from Cheyenne and that is so great. Anne totally defies the stereotype that all stepmothers are wicked and it’s great to see an adult so concerned with Lacy after she has lost so much. There are more awesome characters, but it would be spoiling too much to mention who they are and their roles, but they are essential to the plot.
This novel is not for the faint of heart their is child abuse, manipulation, self harm, attempted suicide, attempt at rape and a lot of other horrible things so be wary when reading this novel. It’s a scintillating read that’s quick and easy, but has a lot going on. It also really gets into the psychology of being an abuse victim and how the mind starts changing as someone is abused.
Overall, When My Heart Was Wicked is a novel that captures a reader wholeheartedly and takes them on a wild ride. Its perfect for the season when everything is creepier than usual. I will be recommending this to people who are comfortable with such themes. Although the warning I will also be giving is that their is a charm on this book which is that you can’t put it down once you start.