Conjure Woman's Cat

General Fiction

By Malcolm Campbell

Publisher : Thomas-Jacob Publishing

ABOUT Malcolm Campbell

Malcolm Campbell
Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of the magical realism novella "Conjure Woman's Cat" and five contemporary fantasy novels including "The Seeker," "The Sailor," and "The Betrayed" in the Garden of Heaven Trilogy. He is also the author of the comedy/ More...



Lena, a shamanistic cat, and her conjure woman Eulalie live in a small town near the Apalachicola River in Florida’s lightly populated Liberty County, where longleaf pines own the world. In Eulalie’s time, women of color look after white children in the homes of white families and are respected, even loved, but distrusted and kept separated as a group. A palpable gloss, sweeter than the state’s prized tupelo honey, holds their worlds firmly apart. When that gloss fails, the Klan restores its own brand of order. When some white boys rape and murder a black girl named Mattie near the sawmill, the police have no suspects and don’t intend to find any. Eulalie, who sees conjure as a way of helping the good Lord work His will, intends to set things right by “laying tricks.” But Eulalie has secrets of her own, and it’s hard not to look back on her own life and ponder how the decisions she made while drinking and singing at the local juke were, perhaps, the beginning of Mattie’s ending. Bonus glossary included for reference.

I grew up in the Florida Panhandle during the 1950s and spent a lot of time camping in the longleaf pine forests, exploring the caverns and sink holes, and exploring the rivers and beaches. I enjoyed the habitats and the legends and history behind them. What angered me was the treatment of Blacks, most especially by corrupt politicians and the KKK. I always wanted to write about it. Suddenly it came to me: folk magic, that is to say, hoodoo. Hoodoo was also big in north Florida. So now I have a conjure woman and a cat and an idea about how they can fight the Klan. The story is set along the Apalachicola River in the 1950s.

"The plot is multi-layered and confronts racism head-on. If you are offended by certain terms, this may not be the book for you, however it fits the era and is realistic of the times. This story concerns two families in particular. Both being torn apart, one eventually comes to terms with the past so the healing can begin. It’s a realistic and moving story that will break your heart but then try to make you whole again. This book gives you a look at how white justice was handled in the south. It is sad to believe that certain aspects of this still hold true today. No one can undo the past and it could take years to get past the hurt even if the pain is a sacred pain.

"I dearly loved Eulalie and Willie, I could easily have been friends with them both. The more I read the name Eulalie the more I adored it. It has a beautiful rhythm and made me smile every time I read it. Eulalie was a wise woman and deserved the respect she was given. Kudos to Malcolm R. Campbell for a story well told." -- Big Al's Books & Pals