“Intoxicated Witch” by Crystal Elizabeth Westman

This book is another from a local author, and I actually came across it by accident (more so than my usual accidents). We were looking at the place where I was going to open my store and decided to run across the road to the Mystic Bookstore. Turns out, there was a book launch going on! I got to meet the lovely author, and when I was asking about how to get the book at a later date, my husband just offered to buy the one that was there. Literally the last one.

This book is a little hard to describe. It’s not a STORY in the same sense as most of the books we review here. It is the story of an incredibly drunk and high young woman stumbling down the streets of Toronto. In her sloshed ways, she reminisces about past events, and about witchcraft. She slowly realizes her awakening (basically opening up to the suggestions of the Universe) and that leads her through her own version of an awakening. An awakening that all her problems had one central cause: her. And it was up to her to own up to those. Sleeping with any pretty face that offers her drugs, she realizes she is just doing this to stay numb so she doesn’t have to deal with what is happening in her head.

The reason I say this doesn’t feel like a story because it reads like a journal. There is poetry in between each entry, and some chapters have a QR code that leads to a video. There are chapters, time stamps, and titles to separate her thoughts. She jumps between current events (walking through Toronto), and events that have inspired her life to that point. The death of her parents, realizing she is a witch, the new family and equally strong witch that took her in, numerology (11:11), the man that started her cocaine addiction, and her history with her current boyfriend (who she just broke up with, which inspired her long walk through Toronto the the lake to dump the remainder of his things).

It feels more like a guide, to help others in similar situations find a way if the normal doesn’t work for them. Paganism aside, her wanderings led to realizing that the drugs were a problem (and it was time to get clean), and she was the problem (preferred bad ideas, and looked for troubled men). It was about owning up to your mistakes, dealing with them and any repercussions, and then moving on.

I will be honest, I’m always a little nervous about new authors. I’m blunt and a little rude sometimes, and I don’t want to do that to a new author. I always try to find good and bad in a book, but sometimes you have to go digging for good things (read my review on Stephanie Meyer’s “The Chemist” I had to go digging). With how gentle and wonderful the author was, I wanted to give her a true review, like I do with everyone. And I will be honest, there were a few things that could have been tightened up, grammatically and just detail wise (example: she referenced someones door and said it was green, and 2 pages later she said it was red) but the story as a whole, I actually really enjoyed. She doesn’t build pity with Flora with the “my life is horrible none of this is my fault” BS, she had Flora realize that she has had a rough life, but she rose past it, and above it. The break-ups and the addictions, may have had another hand in it, but the choice was ultimately on Flora. A friend of mine gave me off but good advice. She said to yes, blame yourself, it is your fault. And as soon as you realize that, you can forgive yourself. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s kind of the theme of this book too.

The book is getting an OFFICIAL release this month, and in all honestly this is not a book for everyone. But I think people who have had a brush with paganism and/or addiction will find this interesting. It is a short book, a very quick read, which is nice for this style.

You can check out her website: crystalwestman.com for information if interested in the book!

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