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Publisher's Summary

The startling, witty, highly anticipated second novel from Rivka Galchen, the critically acclaimed author of Atmospheric Disturbances.

The story begins in 1618, in the German duchy of Württemberg. Plague is spreading. The Thirty Years' War has begun, and fear and suspicion are in the air throughout the Holy Roman Empire. In the small town of Leonberg, Katharina Kepler is accused of being a witch.

Katharina is an illiterate widow, known by her neighbors for her herbal remedies and the success of her children, including her eldest, Johannes, who is the Imperial Mathematician and renowned author of the laws of planetary motion. It's enough to make anyone jealous, and Katharina has done herself no favors by being out and about and in everyone's business.

So when the deranged and insipid Ursula Reinbold (or as Katharina calls her, the Werewolf) accuses Katharina of offering her a bitter, witchy drink that has made her ill, Katharina is in trouble. Her scientist son must turn his attention from the music of the spheres to the job of defending his mother. Facing the threat of financial ruin, torture, and even execution, Katharina tells her side of the story to her friend and next-door neighbor Simon, a reclusive widower imperiled by his own secrets.

Drawing on real historical documents but infused with the intensity of imagination, sly humor, and intellectual fire for which Rivka Galchen is known, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch will both provoke and entertain. The story of how a community becomes implicated in collective aggression and hysterical fear is a tale for our time. Galchen's bold new novel touchingly illuminates a society and a family undone by superstition, the state, and the mortal convulsions of history.

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

©2021 Rivka Galchen (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

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Deeply moving. Brilliantly written and narrated

This audiobook is extraordinary and should win all kinds of awards. I was blown away by how the author wove the story from true history, and by the narrator’s presentation of it. I had no idea witchcraft was a thing in Germany like this, and for the first time I felt like I had an insider’s POV of what the details may look like from alllll sides in any and all witchcraft trials. The writer was masterful with the characters, and the narrator equally so. The narrator did an exquisite job catching the personalities and tones of all the different people in this drama, while catching the humor and also connecting us empathetically in an effortless and graceful way. They say great writers transmit an experience rather than talking at us, and this author 100% did that, along with her splendid narrator who was able to artfully weave humor in as well (appreciated because of the subject) where other narrators would have missed it. Thank you. I will be interested to see whether it resonates more among women than men, and wish I could see what age group resonates the most. I don’t think emotionally immature or insensitive people will quite get how brilliant this book is, because she writes as to an intelligent, sensitive audience. Can’t wait for more audiobooks from this incredible team!