Witch is first and foremost, a comedy; light, fun and funny. Secondly, it is a real romance, a story of the love our narrator has for his wife, the witch.
The concept of Witch arose, in part, after reading about the English witch trials that slaughtered random people for bizarrely inoffensive reasons – she has a cat, he made a drawing, they mumble a lot. It wasn’t even a philosophical religious thing – people were just mean.
Then I was thinking about modern witch comedy with the dopey husband domineering his loving witch wife and I thought, no real witch, even though she is wielding awesome magical powers, would ever tell anyone she is a witch, not even her husband. People burn people for being witches. No one must ever know. And she’d certainly never tell a dopey husband.
If she won’t confess, what can her husband do but compile evidence. Either she’s a witch or he’s crazy; he needs to know which is truth. So it begins.
Witch is much less serious than I make it sound here but there are layers of stuff going on what amounts to an open view of my adorable narrator’s heart and soul.
The real effect of Witch, I believe, will be to love the narrator and love the way he loves his wife. I think that part of the story is difficult to escape. The funny parts are funny if you think they’re funny. The love is real.
Interestingly, it’s a whole another book if you hate the narrator. Still funny but different. Witch is in the eye of the beholder.
I won’t bother to liken it to some post-war German fiction, the Mayor of Casterbridge and Browning’s poetic monologues. Lots of cultural references too, particularly for my generation to pick up on.