“What’s it about?” That’s the first question anyone asks me when I tell them I’ve written a novel, and it’s surprisingly difficult to answer. A WITCH’S KITCHEN is about so many things, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s about magic and cooking and growing up and going to school and exploring your world and coping with enemies and making friends. It’s about discovery, and what you do with your discoveries.
At its heart, A WITCH’S KITCHEN is a story about eleven-year-old Ludmilla Noctmartis, who prefers to be called Millie. She lives in the Enchanted Forest with her mother, a strong-willed witch named Bogdana. More than anything else in the world, Millie loves to cook. She’s especially good at baking – bread, cookies, cakes, scones, muffins, brownies – but she’s pretty good at cooking just about anything in her favorite cookbook, Simple Pleasures.
The problem is, her mother isn’t interested in Millie’s cooking (though she’s happy to eat it). What Bogdana wants is for Millie to become a powerful witch. But every time Millie tries to work magic, it goes horribly wrong. She turns elephant eggs into quiche and potions into chocolate sauce. Once she turned her mother’s cauldron into a pumpkin.
Bogdana tells Millie she’s a failure, hopeless, and most of the other witches in their Coven say the same, especially Millie’s very talented cousin, Cretacia. And unfortunately, Millie believes them. Deep down, she’s terrified that she’s not really a witch at all. She has all but given up on magic when her grandmother, Baba Luci, offers her another chance: to attend the Enchanted Forest School. No witch has ever gone to school, it’s just not done, not traditional, but Millie seizes the opportunity.
Once at school, Millie’s life changes drastically. She makes friends with a pixie and an elf. She reconnects with her brother, Max, a young wizard. She’s bullied by a goblin, Grumpkin, and her cousin Cretacia. And she starts working magic – awkwardly, accidentally, and sometimes just as badly as at home. With a little help from her teachers and her friends, Millie starts to understand how her magic works and why she’s had so much trouble with it before. She discovers that cooking and magic aren’t so different, and that she can stand up for herself.