White is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

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The Independent Culture

Helen Oyeyemi was just 21 when her first novel, The Icarus Girl, established her as one of the most distinctive voices of the year.

White is for Witching, her third novel, returns to some familiar themes including hauntings, insanity and the secret life of siblings. In a cliff-top boarding house in Dover, teenage twins, Eliot and Miranda, are lamenting the death of their mother, killed in a shoot-out in Haiti. Miranda in particular is left reeling by her mother's death and develops a strange eating disorder that makes her partial to chalk and cutlery. Yet, more disturbingly, the house seems to be playing host to the family's unquiet dead. The supernatural traditions of the Caribbean and Nigeria are here mixed in with the genre of seaside gothic - and to surprising effect.