A BUST Review: The Witches of Bellinas

by Rufus Hickok

By now we’ve all seen enough cult documentaries to know that radiant white wellness influencers in flowy garments can be bad news. So, when Tansy and her self-absorbed new husband, Guy, get the chance to live rent-free among the wealthy, healthy, and deeply Californian “Bohemian Group” in a secluded ocean-front paradise, she’s rightly ready to run for the hills. Unfortunately, Guy is more open to the squishy “high vibe” patriarchy of Father M and his seemingly happy followers, so Tansy goes along for the sake of their marriage. What could go wrong?

Quite a lot, it seems. From the start, J. Nicole Jones’ novel The Witches of Bellinas foreshadows a bad end for Guy and the mysterious cult, framing the story as Tansy’s “confession” for doing things that come very late in the story. The narrative shrewdly sends up the narcissistic nonsense of tech bros, faux artists, and those who see spirituality as a lifestyle accoutrement, while suggesting that society’s pressure on women to be perfect is actually cultish programming suppressing female strength. But well before the climax, you’ll start wishing Tansy would get to the witchcraft and kick someone in the chakras already. 

Image via Catapult

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.