Mom had gotten better through the years at blending in and appearing at first glance like other mothers. But she still spent the equinox in the woods and the solstice at the sea. She still whispered old words over her teacups and I’d caught her muttering a curse as we passed the front door of our neighbor’s house more than once.
It’s a fascinating sort of book; dark and magical and a bit surreal. The more twisted aspects of ‘small town’ life, a murder mystery, and romance all in one.
The setting is a huge selling point for the book. Set on a fictional island in the Puget Sound, we have all the aspects of a town that time forgot. They get tourists during the summer (that really are all keeping the town alive), but they’re the outsiders. Everyone else is ’town’. And it’s how it’s been for centuries–and how it’s going to stay.
The other selling point is the characters. I really feel for August–he thought he was out and now he’s back–with all the baggage that entails. Emery, thought she was getting out but ended up settling on the island; until August came back. And townfolk. Oh, the townfolk.
On the downside… it took a long time to actually realize if the magic on the island was actually real or not. I suppose that’s the point of magical realism–which in hindsight may be an indication that this particular genre might not be for me.
And in the end, the real core of the mystery being all about owning a bunch of trees? . It does feel ‘real’ enough, but again. Not necessary what I want.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable read; but perhaps make sure you know what you’re getting into.
“There are spells for breaking and spells for mending. But there are no spells for forgetting.”