In Hex Education, Maureen Kilmer's witchy, wacky second novel, mother and real estate agent Sarah Nelson's past--and powers--finally catch up with her. It's been 20 years since the night of the fire that burned down Sarah's college dorm. Sarah and friends Katrina and Alicia have hidden a secret: their amateur coven was responsible for the blaze. All three have built successful lives around what they wished for that night: love for Sarah (happily married with twin teenagers), fortune for Katrina (a whip-smart entrepreneur), and fame for Alicia (a well-known magician). But when Madisyn, a zealous journalist, comes sniffing around for answers about the fire, and the three witches are reunited, their magic takes on a life of its own.
Kilmer (Suburban Hell) spins a highly enjoyable narrative that often hints at something darker. Although Sarah's magic usually goes wrong in humorous ways--her broom becomes self-sweeping, and her cat, Katy Purry, finds her (gravelly) human voice--Sarah knows it could quickly turn tragic again. Complicating matters is Sarah's prickly sister-in-law and former resident advisor, Nancy. Badly burned in the fire, she's a living reminder of Sarah's guilt. As Madisyn circles like a vulture, Sarah and her friends try various magical (and non-magical) strategies to keep both the journalist and the magic at bay--with mixed results. Hex Education, witty and entertaining, will beguile fans of Charmed or Bewitched, but it also asks deeper questions about magic, friendship, responsibility, and truth-telling. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams