The Witching Hour gives a detailed history of the Mayfair family from their ancient descendants from Scotland in the 1600's, up until the current time when we see the main characters emerge. Michael Curry is a comtractor from the "wrong side" of New Orleans. Michael however, becomes a historian out of college, but could not tear himself away from building with his hands. Michael is the founder of the company Great Expectations, named after his favorite book, and makes a life of restoring old victorian houses. Michael meets with the "Witches" when he is swept out to sea and is rescued by Rowan Mayfair. Rowan is a Neurosurgeon who was born in New Orleans but adopted only hours after her birth. Rowan has had an intuitive sense of what people were feeling or thinking since she was very young. Rowan is also the strongest of all the Mayfair witches. The day Rowan rescues Michael from the ocean is the day both their lives get turned upside down. They both encounter a spirit that has haunted the Mayfair family since Scotland: Lasher. Rowan vows to destroy the spirit that has destroyed so many of her ancestors.
In this novel, there is so many characters and Ms Rice writes a huge amount about each one (no wonder it's about 1000 pages long). But I admit it didn't make the book boring, in fact it made the book so much better that way. You delve into each person's life, including Rowan's ancestors, which were written historically correct which made it all the better to me.
One thing I really like about Ms. Rice is the fact that she takes characters and puts them into different series. For instance, there is the Talamasca (read it to find out what I'm on about). They exist in the Mayfair books and the Vampire books. It makes you wonder what would happen should the worlds of both series collide. I can just imagine a book with Lestat and Rowan in it. Wonder what they would think of each other? (Note to self: This is a good idea that maybe Ms. Rice should be told about!)
Some people may be disturbed by this book, as always, Anne Rice has some sexuality in her novels. But what people have to realize is that it's a book, nothing more. If you're like me and don't know much about your family's history, it's cool to read about a family that has such a strong and eventful history, even if it is dark and disturbing somehow.