First chapter in, I was thinking. Darn, this is better than Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox was a crazy ride, a drunken ramble in a festival ground. This book looks like it will have great writing but also structure that will not baffle reader. Is that a plus? Not necessarily; and reading further, I don't think it's vastly more superior than Mr. Fox despite the clear plot. Mr. Fox was just something special and maybe need to be read at correct time of your life, but it was jolly good fun. White is for witching is more prim and tidy but also darker & creepier.
So coming back to this book, the best part of it is actually the first chapter; for the first chapter I'd give it 5 stars and read it over and over again. In fact, going back to the first chapter was the first thing I did after I finished reading. It was written beautifully, it introduced most of the voices used in the narration without physical description or explanation of who they are, just names and their narration of Miri's dissapearance. It grabbed me, piqued my curiosity & just plain beautifully written. It needs to be given a "First Chapter Award".
Basically the few following chapters are still golden. I found my interest flagging once Miri went to college. Interestingly this is the part where I should've my eyes glued to the book most since the creepiness was building up slowly but surely. Something I hadn't expected, I didn't realize that it's a creepy book, which is just plain silly. Reading a book titled "White is for Witching" and not expecting creepiness is one hell of deluded reader. Anyhow, my interest was not spiking up anymore afterwards. It's still a great read, but it's not something you put down while cursing at your job because you just want to continue reading.
I found the beautiful writing rather slacked off at the end too. I just love the verse she used for Ore at the beginning or how she ends paragraph & changing narrator using the same word and put it in the middle. I'll put in quote here later as an example.
It was rather tidily tied up. I don't like finding out what really happened to Miri. It's rather too perfect, I mean, I couldn't see how anything else could've happened to her. It fit's the whole story & characterization. But maybe I was hoping for something out of place, something that totally diverged from the whole structure. Or maybe those kind of ending will leave me cursing & swearing never to read Helen Oyeyemi's work again. Who knows. This one is a tidy and poetic end anyway. AND you can go back to the first chapter afterwards, read it with all-knowing-eyes and nod, "yup, a perfect fit."