Alyssa and Victoria recommend! Forty-seven-year-old Lolly Willowes is a conventional maiden aunt, an unpaid companion and babysitter to her brothers' children. After years of submission to her controlling family, she develops a longing for the countryside and dark, wild places that impels her to flee London for a remote village. Lolly soon discovers that her new neighbors are a coven of bohemian witches and eventually encounters Satan himself — a genial country gentleman who's ready to make a pact.
The first-ever selection of the Book of the Month Club upon its 1926 publication, Lolly Willowes was a surprise international bestseller. This proto-feminist work has since been chosen as one of the Guardian's 100 Best Novels of All Time, and it remains a richly satirical novel that celebrates the joys of self-actualization.
By Sylvia Townsend Warner. Paperback. 222 pages. Published by New York Book Review Classics, 1999.
Victoria's thoughts: I already wanted to forsake all of my duties and leave for some windswept village of my choosing. Reading this book did not help, and I mean that in the best way possible. An important story told by an incredible writer.