When a friend recommended I read Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches, I stored the suggestion away in the back of my mind somewhere along with using vinegar the next time I wash the kitchen floor and taking a knitting class. On my next trip to the library however, A Discovery of Witches jumped right at me. It the very first book I saw when I walked over to the shelves. Somehow among a thousand books lined up on a wall the size of a football field, I walked to this one. Weird.
But for some reason, I didn’t want to open the big book. It looked boring and disappointing and did I mention really really big? And so I left it sitting in a green bag by the front door for almost a week.
And then one day, with nothing else nearby, I picked up the heavy tomb and began. It was slow at first and somewhat contrived and I kept thinking I would just put it down. Yet for some reason, I couldn’t. I kept flipping the pages and flipping the pages…and then somewhere along the way, the book was awesome. Harkness created a wonderful world of pseudo-reality that takes places (majoritively) at Oxford University in England. Staged between a highly intelligent Professor of History (the witch) and an even more intelligent scholar/professor/ancient super-dude (the vampire), Discovery unravels a tale that crosses back and forth between alchemy, religion, philosophy, genetics, and the amazing Darwinian theories on evolution. And all of it is centered around a mysterious book that every one wants to get his hands on.
In short, I flew through the 800 pages in less than 48 hours and can’t wait until the next book comes out. Rumors have it to be scheduled for January.