I put a spell on you… And now you’re mine…
Now that Halloween’s coming, I guess it’s appropriate to do a review on the erotic memoir of a Wiccan High Priestess. The Love Spell by Phyllis Curott chronicles her journey through life (and the 80’s, ugh…) trying to find what we all want, true love. The only differences between her adventure and ours, however, is that hers is peppered with spells, potions, and magic and ours is peppered with Haagen Dazs, sloppy kisses, and awkward text messages.
Curott starts her story by discussing her loneliness. She is sick of dating dead end men, having one night stands, and generally being unappreciated by the opposite sex. She starts becoming star struck by images of James Dean, long since dead but still arousing to her. Somehow, she sees him as “a working class man with the heart of a poet.” She is entranced by the way he wore his heart on his sleeve, and always expressed how he was feeling in any given moment, without reservations about what others would think. She is drawn to him, yet heartbroken, because he is not of this realm anymore.
Curott ends up joining a coven and earning a true group of friends, most notably a mentor named Nonna. Nonna is the warm maternal figure that should be a part of every woman’s life. She is there to guide Phyllis through her search for love, and there to pick her up when things don’t go exactly as planned. Especially when Phyllis decides to take matters into her own hands and casts a love spell, asking the universe to send her the man of her dreams.
Enter: Derek, a tall good-looking man who is compatible with Phyllis not only physically, but also on a mental and spiritual level as well, which–I can imagine–may be a hard thing to find when practicing a religion outside of societal norms. She can’t believe it– her spell worked! Curott feels an immediate spark between herself and Derek, and it doesn’t take long to find out that he feels the same way.
But will things work out for the new couple? Will Phyllis get the happy ending she’s always dreamed of– with a soul mate by her side and a baby on her hip? Or can nothing–not even magic–hold two lovers together if they just weren’t meant to be?
And what’s the deal with James Dean?
I have to say, this book surprised me. I put off reading it for quite a while because I was worried it was going to be some gushy BS romance novel–which I hate! All that quivering thigh, bodice-ripping just irritates me. But The Love Spell was quite different. I really enjoyed watching Phyllis’ inner turmoil, as well as seeing what a great female support system she had. The whole book made me feel proud to be a woman, which is an uncommon feeling to get from reading a story. I really liked the mythological aspects that were thrown in there, like Dionysus (her proclaimed “daemon,” or spiritual lover) and especially the famous tale of Isis and Osiris. I’ve always found those who chose the pagan path of worship to be interesting, and Curott offered a behind-the-scenes look into some of the ceremonies the covens have and what really happens during magic-making events.
I was a little put off by the first few chapters of the book. It was hard for me to get into because of the long solid blocks without any dialogue. I understand that a memoir revolves around someone’s inner struggle, but for a while there wasn’t a lot of action. Also, the whole “hearing the voice of James Dean” thing while standing at his grave was a bit hard for me to swallow. Maybe I’ve just been deadened by society to that sort of thing, but it seemed a little (highly)…unlikely… When read as a regular fictional novel it’s great, but when you remember that it’s supposedly a true story, it’s a bit hard to buy.
Plus the whole unprotected-sex-with-strangers-because-it’s-the -80’s thing just made me cringe…
But for sure, read this book. For anyone interested in learning more about the occult, wanting to practice making your own love spells/potions, or just in need of a little femininity boosting– this memoir’s for you. And as Alice Hoffman said in Practical Magic,
“There’s a little witch in every woman.”
4 of 5 stars