Audiobook: A Spell in the Country by Heide Goody and Iain Grant, Narrated by Diana Croft

Dee is a Good Witch but she wonders if she could be a better witch.
She wonders if there’s more to life than Disney movie marathons, eating a whole box of chocolates for dinner and brewing up potions in her bathtub. So when she’s offered a chance to go on a personal development course in the English countryside, she packs her bags, says goodbye to the Shelter for Unloved Animals charity shop and sets a course for self-improvement.

Caroline isn’t just a Good Witch, she’s a fricking awesome witch.
She likes to find the easy path through life: what her good looks can’t get for her, a few magic charms can. But she’s bored of being a waitress and needs something different in her life. So when a one night stand offers her a place on an all-expenses-paid residential course in a big old country house, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.

Jenny is a Wicked Witch. She just wishes she wasn’t.
On her fifteenth birthday, she got her first wart, her own imp and a Celine Dion CD. She still has the imp. She also has a barely controllable urge to eat human children which is socially awkward to say the least and not made any easier when a teenager on the run turns to her for help. With gangsters and bent cops on their trail, Jenny needs to find a place outside the city where they can lay low for a while.

For very different reasons, three very different witches end up on the same training course and land in a whole lot of trouble when they discover that there’s a reason why their free country break sounds too good to be true. Foul-mouthed imps, wererats, naked gardeners, tree monsters, ghosts and stampeding donkeys abound in a tale about discovering your inner witch.

This book is wonderful in its own right but with the added dimension of audio, it’s one of my all  time favourite audiobooks.

I’m struggling to express in words exactly how much I loved this book, it keeps coming out as an enthusiastic squeak that sounds like ‘amazeballs’ but I’ll endeavour to put it into real words.

The story is about a rag tag group of witches invited to a self-help retreat in the countryside, where they learn about themselves, the value of teamwork, and being the best witches they can be. There are some darker themes as well, hidden in the comedy, which adds another layer to the story.

It’s the characters in this book that make it brilliant – I adored all of the witches in their own way (apart from Caroline, who’s a bit of a dick). Dee is a sweet witch who works in a charity shop and specialises in communicating with animals and mending clothing; Jenny is a wicked witch who doesn’t really have a bad bone in her body but is discriminated against anyway; Nora is a haughty older lady with a secret rebellious streak and Shazzam, a hilariously naïve witch you can’t help but love.
However, these are all honourable mentions because the title of ‘Best Character Ever Written’ goes to Jizzimus the imp. He’s fiercely loyal to Jenny but otherwise a total disgrace with a fart or dick joke for all occasions. His antics cracked me up every time!

I’ve listened to most of Diana Croft’s audiobooks at this point because it’s a pretty safe bet I’ll enjoy the book, but I would venture that this is the best book she’s ever done. She brings the fantastic characters to life, each one with their own distinctive personality and voice, especially Jizzimus the imp.
I rarely relisten to audiobooks but I can happily play this one on repeat!

If you need something genuinely funny, adventurous, silly and uplifting – this is the book you need in your life.   

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