The Witching Hour (novel)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2008)|
|Series||Lives of the Mayfair Witches|
|Genre||Horror, gothic, science fiction|
|Published||October 19, 1990|
The Witching Hour (1990) by Anne Rice is the first novel in the Lives of the Mayfair Witches series. It begins the tale of a family of witches, and a spirit that has guided their fortunes for generations.
Dr. Rowan Mayfair is a brilliant neurosurgeon in California, and when her estranged birth mother dies in New Orleans, she begins to learn about the old Southern family to which she belongs. Michael Curry is a contractor who specializes in the restoration of old homes while dreaming of his childhood in New Orleans and yearning to return there. Rowan soon realizes that she has developed the psychic power to save lives—or kill. Rowan saves Michael from drowning, and he acquires an clairvoyant ability in his hands that terrifies him. They fall in love, and when Michael decides to return to New Orleans, Rowan follows him to learn the secrets of her past.
Aaron Lightner, a psychic scholar and member of the Talamasca, has studied the Mayfairs from afar for years. The matriarchal family—known by the Talamasca as the "Mayfair Witches"—have a long and sordid history. Among the supernatural events surrounding them is a mysterious man, seen by Michael in his childhood and by other members of the family over time. Rowan and Michael marry, and as the designee of the Mayfair legacy she assumes control of the family's affairs. Soon the mysterious man reveals himself to her: he is Lasher, a spirit with wicked motives who has plagued the Mayfairs for centuries. His wish is to be made flesh so that he may walk the earth again, and he sets about slowly seducing Rowan.
Secretly thinking that she can outwit Lasher, Rowan sends Michael away from the house on Christmas Day. Her plan to bind Lasher to "weak matter" which she can destroy with her mental killing power backfires as Lasher enters her womb, and makes himself at home in her unborn fetus. Rowan immediately goes into labor, which is violent and bloody, and Lasher is born. Michael returns and tries to kill the creature, but Lasher is too strong and attempts to drown Michael again. During this second near death experience, Michael loses the power in his hands. Terrified for Michael's life, Rowan drags the creature away and runs off with him.
- McGrath, Patrick (November 4, 1990). "Ghastly and Unnatural Ambitions". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Ferraro, Susan (October 14, 1990). "Novels You Can Sink Your Teeth Into". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2015.