Cate lives in New England just before the dawn of the twentieth century in a world where The Brotherhood has kept women subservient and uneducated, feeling dirty and stupid. (My hatred of The Brotherhood was so immediate I almost threw the book several times.) Cate is the oldest of three sisters and she has been protecting them since her mother's death. Except Cate and her sisters, Maura & Tess, aren't normal. They're witches. Any not just any witches - sister witches with special powers whose existence was foretold in the last prophecy before the fall of the witches and the rise of the Brotherhood. Sister witches who could change the world. As if her life wasn't complicated enough, Cate is also falling in love with Finn, the gardener and local bookseller's son, and making interesting new friends with the daughter of the Brotherhood council leader. She has some tough choices to make but there are some who would rather not let her choose at all.
This book was soooo good. Jessica Spotswood hits the nail on the head every time she describes emotion. She gets the feuding between sisters and the love that underlies it. AND THE FALLING IN LOVE? If you don't love Finn and Kate (FATE), you're being silly. Once again, Jessica nails it: kissing is fun but kissing the right guy is amazing.
I know that wasn't entirely coherent but I hope you get the idea that this book is amazing and perfect and visceral. And the paperback cover is beautiful! JUST GO READ IT!