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Publisher's Summary

A darkly funny, frightening novel about a young woman learning how to take what she wants from a witch who may be too good to be true, from the author of The Return.

All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation.  

Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem...a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power...but she couldn’t be...could she?

©2021 Rachel Harrison (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"This witty page-turner put its spell on me! Cackle is a charming and very contemporary story about self-realization — a gal-pal Addams Family, in the best way. Clever and massively enjoyable.” (Zoje Stage, USA Today and internationally best-selling author of Baby Teeth and Getaway)

“Reading Cackle was like stumbling upon a candy cottage in a dark wood: utterly surprising, deceptively delightful, and a little bit scary, too. I gobbled it up in a weekend, cackling all the while.” (Emily M. Danforth, author of Plain Bad Heroines and The Miseducation of Cameron Post)

“Cackle delivers a lesson that every woman needs to hear: embrace your inner witch! Sweet, sinister, and 100 percent delightful.” (Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger and The Deep)

What listeners say about Cackle

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it so much, I bought it twice.

After reading it, I bought the audiobook so I could listen to it next year. Major Witches of Eastwick, girl power vibes!

7 people found this helpful

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Great read!

One of my new favorite stories. Easy and fun read that will make you want to go to farmers markets and drink some tea with a friend. Made a friend get it too so we can discuss like a book club! This would be such a great movie or basis for a series! I hope it will some day!

5 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

This was a fun story. Annie did drive me a little crazy, but after a ten year relationship that ended that way, she had the right to be messed up for a while. The story was hard to stop listening to. The characters were great. One of my favorite characters was Ralph. I want a little Ralph of my own (that`s all I will say about him so I don`t spoil anything). If you know anyone who loves a story that`s a little spooky, who loves stories about female friendship, and who likes stories about women learning what they really want out of life, then this book is for them. It a great story.

5 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected, but absolutely loved it!

I was looking for a new horror/thriller/mystery to read for the season, and this came up as a recommendation. While I didn't particularly enjoy "The Return", I thought I'd give another book from Rachel Harrison a try.

I'm so happy I did. The story is beautiful and warming, and a great lesson in learning to love yourself and never letting anyone snuff you out.

As I said, I was looking for a scary read, and while this one didn't feel scary at any point, it was a read I thoroughly enjoyed. It's a read I wish I had had when I went through a break up similar to Annie's a few years ago and when I had to find myself again.

The journey of self-discovery and love for the self Annie goes on is beautiful, and the moment she decides to "surrender" was incredible and relatable. Her friendship with Sophie is wholesome and warm, and reading about the pair of them interacting was endearing.

There does need to be a bit of suspending belief for things that normally I wouldn't let slide in a story like this (spiders smiling/dancing/communicating comes off a bit Disney princess animal side-kick like) BUT given how much I enjoyed the story, it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would.

The ending wasn't at all what I expected, and I'm happy it was completely different from what I thought would happen, because it couldn't have been more perfect.

4 people found this helpful

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Perfect Spooky Read

Annie’s boyfriend broke up with her and she couldn’t afford NYC rent on a teacher’s salary.  She packs up and moves to a teaching position in a small community and a furnished rental in an even smaller one.  Unfortunately,  isn’t enough wine and whisky to handle the cruel taunting of high schoolers combined with heartbreak.  But  she makes a friend who is affirming and welcoming and she quickly falls under her spell.  Over the course of that school year Annie will face ghosts who want her dead, friendship with a witch she equally fears and reveres, the judgement of others, and the ex that kicked her to the curb. 

This is in my top reads for the year.  It was outside my comfort zone but not too spooky for a lightweight. 

3 people found this helpful

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fun

Fun read (listen)! Narrator was great, too! Definitely recommend. Refreshing compared to some of the cookie-cutter BS that is out now.

2 people found this helpful

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Wickedly good

I just wanted to listen to a fun, spooky-ish book for Halloween and thought I’d give this one a try. I really enjoyed it! It has a nice twist that I didn’t expect, and I liked the ending.

1 person found this helpful

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So good. So relatable!

I wanted a fun read for spooky season and this surpassed my expectations. A dose of relatable therapy I didn't even know I needed. Great listen. Looking forward to more from this author.

1 person found this helpful

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Ehh

It was ok, I feel like it started to head toward a good story a couple times but then would swerve and miss. It felt kind of scattered to me. An interesting idea but just wasn’t my cup of tea.

1 person found this helpful

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Tis the season

So, earlier this year I read Rachel Harrison's debut novel 'The Return' and loved it. Her sophomore novel, 'Cackle' was definitely lighter on the horror, but it was still a fun read for the Halloween season. While the storyline is almost like a movie you would see on the Lifetime network, because let's face it, this is a chick book, it still has some mild horror elements and dark humor that kept me entertained.

1 person found this helpful