This is a few days late, but no worries! Don’t forget to start on Cherokee Bat and the Goat Girls for the book club that’s set to come out next Friday August 9th.
This post was written by Ashley Lorelle, a girl I’ve known through our mutual love for Francesca Lia Block and the magic of life. She writes at Magick Culture
There is a Witch Baby in All of Us
Witch Baby was originally published in 1991 as a follow up to Francesca Lia Block’s critically acclaimed novella Weetzie Bat. By 1997, Witch Baby had one the School Library Journal Best Book and was an ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Witch Baby fascinated the minds and captured the hearts of many of Francesca Lia Block’s fans because she is so relatable. While the character of Weetzie Bat has been idolized by many of FLB’s readers, Witch Baby is a kindred spirit. Her desire to belong within her family, despite feeling like she is a stranger and her consistent quest to find her identity is a spirit journey that many young women have gone through.
Those of who know that magick is real also understand that our beliefs can make us different from those who love us the most. Sometimes I feel like my family will never understand me and that there will always be a large part of my life that they will not be a part of because I am a black sheep. Witch Baby feels like a black sheep too, because she always recognizes pain and darkness while the other members of her family constantly revel in love and light. One of the most important things that Witch Baby discovers is that though we may be different from the ones we love, it is our differences that can bring us closer together. Our differences are all separate pieces of an entire family unit. As Weetzie Bat explains to Witch Baby at the end of the book, darkness and light need one another.
Cast of Characters
The characters in Witch Baby are the same as in Weetzie Bat except for a few very important additions:
Angel Juan—A young Mexican boy that Witch Baby meets on the set of her father, My Secret Agent Lover Man’s, movie set. He becomes Witch Baby’s best friend and the boy she falls in love with. She is heartbroken when his family is deported to Mexico.
Vixanne Wigg—Vixanne is Witch Baby’s mother. She is a member of a cult to Jayne Mansfield and practices witch craft. She left Witch Baby on My Secret Agent Lover Man’s doorstep when she was just a baby.
Darlene Drake—Duck’s mother. She is initially upset when she learns that Duck is gay but has a change of heart and learns to accept her son.
“My mother says that pain is hidden in everyone you see. She says try to imagine it like big bunches of flowers that everyone is carrying around with them. Think of your pain like a big bunch of red roses, a beautiful thorn necklace. Everyone has one.”
“Wish on everything. Pink cars are good, especially old ones. And stars, of course, first stars and shooting stars. Planes will do if they are the first light in the sky and look like stars. Wish in tunnels, holding your breath and lifting your feet off the ground. Birthday candles. Baby teeth.”
“She knew how he looked–the angel in her dream–but she didn’t know how to find him. Should she roller-skate through the streets in the evenings when the streetlights flicker on? Should she stow away to Jamaica on a cruise ship and search for him in the rain forests and along the beaches? Would he come to her? Was he waiting, dreaming of her in the same way she waited and dreamed?”
Not as much music is featured in Witch Baby, not like it was in Weetzie Bat, but I put together a playlist of songs that remind me of the story here.
How do you relate to Witch Baby?
In what ways did you once feel different from your family?
What was your most memorable moment from the story?
If you’re just tuning in, you can read the Weetzie Bat Book club right here, or read what the book club is all about here.
Don’t forget! August 9th we’ll be recapping Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys!