Bernice is a witch with many skeletons in her closet. She has an addictive personality, works as a holistic therapist, and struggles to maintain any intimate relationships. Her spells are not always as accurate as they could be, often the result of her having a few too many goblets of red wine.
When mysterious letters start appearing at her door, she begins to think about her childhood and, with the help of her long-suffering friend Maggie, tries to come to terms with her past and the family she left behind. But nothing in Bernice's life is ever simple...
FINALIST AT THE PEOPLE'S BOOK PRIZE 2014/2015
Voting continues until 28th February 2015
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
I loved this book very interesting great read can't wait to read more from this author , hope she continues this story in a sequel book .
Would recommend this book to friends , I liked it due to its interesting title ~ lesley McDiarmid's , Amazon
This is the tale of Bernice, a complex practising witch in contemporary Glasgow – the first in what promises to be an exciting series, aimed at an adult audience. We follow the path Bernice travels through life and memory, as she seeks to align mistakes of the past with ways of coming to terms with them in the present, in order to bringing healing forward into the future. In an expressively imaginative world of fiction, inspired by an ancient approach to spirituality, Cathie Devitt invokes a tactile and colourful world expressed in striking images: the sea, coffee-like at one extreme, inky at the other in the beginning recurs as a metaphor for all that is both paradoxically healing and fatal, for instance. The novel has all the mysterious allure and dangerous destructive power of a sleeping tornado – it hits you when and where you least expect it. Matching masterful artistry in terms of the craft of writing with hard-to-pin-down magic, Cathie Devitt weaves her words like a binding spell, bringing the words to life in you. ~ Leon Conrad, Amazon
Can't wait for the next installment of bernice's adventures! Great characters, couldn't put it down xx ~ D. Wallace, Amazon
Brilliant writing.... Hope to read more from this author in the future... ~ Louise Kelly, Amazon
A contemporary tale of a white witch that moves from Glasgow to the Scottish Islands with the main protagonist, Bernice O'Hanlon, dealing with the everyday issues that a woman has to deal with in conjunction with her being a witch and dealing with a family history that results in a very interesting juggling act. This book doesn't have too many signposts so the reader is kept on their toes as the action switches locations. The characterisation is strong and engaging, the dialogue sparse yet to the point, the locations are well drawn with a story that's full of humour laced with internal and external conflict. All the required ingredients for strong fiction.
This is the first novella of three so starts off with a darker side to Bernice's journey with the following books reflecting how her journey develops. I am not a reader who is usually drawn towards this type of subject matter but found this tale refreshing and intriguing in it's development of story and characters. Devitt has a sharp ear for dialogue that is well used and she uses the SHOWING of her tale to great effect.
I will watch out for the future titles in this trilogy with anticipation to see how Bernice's story develops and to enjoy more the sureness of voice of Devitt in the telling of her tale. I would highly recommend this book which for me, was a new genre and refreshing deviation from my usual reading which I have found very rewarding indeed. ~ Grassy, Amazon
Can't wait for the next one ~ Ann McKenzie, Amazon
This is the first novella of a trilogy so even when we reach the end of the first stage of Bernice’s journey we know there’ll be more drama waiting to unfold, and this reader, for one, is looking forward to enjoying more of the potent new voice on Scotland’s literary scene that is Cathie Devitt.” ~ Brian Whittingham, Writer Editor and Professor in Creative Writing
Moving between an unpolished Glasgow and a complex island community Devitt’s magical mayhem conceals shadowy family secrets. Bernice and Maggie, amidst spells and betrayals uncover a multitude of duplicities which tests and ultimately cements the bonds of their friendship. Sad and funny in equal measure Cathie Devitt’s debut "novella" Don’t Drink And Fly is the first of what I hope will be many adventures for Bernice. Looking forward to the sequels.. ~ Laura Marney, Author & Craetive Writing Tutor
“Don’t Drink & Fly!” centering on a free spirited Wicca witch Bernice O’Hanlon, deftly brings two of Scotland’s distinct and traditional cultures together; the claustrophobia of tight knit island life and the alienation of urban life. The characters are so sharply defined they feel like your own friends and relatives and Cathie Devitt hasn’t sugar coated the Gaelic culture either, choosing to present it in all its glorious darkness. ~ Des Dillon , Writer/producer
Funny, clever. However, for an American, I found some of the Glasgow accents in parts of it a bit hard to read—charming but took some adjustment. It's refreshing, free-spirited, and a little dark--in a good way. ~ Anita Burns, The Messenger: http://www.themessenger.info/content/book-a-media-reviews/fiction-reviews/item/2247-don-t-drink-and-fly
Mar 22, 2015
It was because I heard BBC Radio Scotland's Janice Forsyth's interview the author Cathie Devitt that made me want to read Bernice's story. She is a wacky, lovable character whose life has been, and still is, pretty mixed up - she appears to have no direction and is dealing with events in her past. Contrary to what one of the reviewers says, there were a couple of spells cast! But witchery is not the main point of Cathie's story.
I also loved the fact that is is based in Glasgow and the west coast of Scotland with hints at the idioms and language peculiarities of that area.
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to reading more about the adventures of Bernice/Bernadette and Hex, her cat. ~ Alexandra Brown, Goodreads
A story of struggles, dark family secrets, people haunted by the past and doing their best to figure out a future. There were a number of things I really liked about this story. It is a confusing, messy sort of setup which is a good deal more like life than fiction, and as a consequence makes a nice change in a novel. I could not work out where it was going, and it kept surprising me. This is something I like in a story, however, if you favour tidy, neatly explained everything clear and reasonably predictable writing, you probably won’t enjoy it. I liked the fact that, while the main character is a spell-casting witch, this was not the central issue for the plot. The Paganism in this story is recognisable to me, this is the kind of witchcraft that fits into my world, these are characters I could imagine meeting down the pub. It’s grounded and fantastical in equal measure, and I really like how the magical elements are handled ~ Nimue Brown rated , Goodreads
Cathie Devitt has a refreshing style of writing, humorous at times and always full of insight and humanity. She has a wonderful imagination and facility with language allowing a reader to share in her perceptions of character and settings. In my opinion hers is a talent worthy of a wide audience. ~ Alex Gray, Novelist.
Cathie Devitt lives and breathes stories. Every conversation leads to another story, then another and another, each as original, entertaining and thought-provoking as the last. Her writing is similarly engaging, with characters as memorable as their author in settings and situations unique to Cathie’s world view. Her stories are bursting with energy and life.
~ Lindsay Fraser, Literary Agent.
Cathie wrote and performed a comedy monologue during an Arvon Creative writing course that I had the privilege of being guest tutor at. Her characterisation and observational skills were key in delivering an energised quirky performance. Throughout the course Cathie impressed me with her range and unique voice. She definitely has a writing talent that is enviable. ~ David Stafford, Writer and Producer