This is a rather difficult review to write. There were so many things I had never heard of before.
The story of seven women. Living with generational trauma. We begin with Dorothy Moy. Washington’s one-time poet laureate. When her young daughter begins showing signs of the same type of behavior that plagues Dorothy, she decides to go for some experimental treatments that are thought to mitigate inherited trauma. That one I had to look up.
In doing so she connects with past generations of her own family. And in all of the scenarios, there is a man looking for her. So a painful and traumatic past isn’t the only thing she’s searching for answers for.
Her choice to end the cycle of pain may help her find her lost love or it may cost her something.
I enjoyed the women’s stories. How different and yet similar they were. Some of these things I had never heard about before and I am very glad I now understand them.
Rumi is one of the most beloved poets. His poems are about love and beauty with a lot of mystical and spiritual meanings. This book delves into those things. When put in the context of Islamic mysticism they become something deeper.
Emily Jane O’Dell has studied Sufism extensively at Harvard, Columbia, and the American University in Beirut. She also has done a lot of on-the-ground training from a Mevlevi master and even learns to twirl like a dervish in Istanbul. In other words, she knows a lot about what she is writing about.
What I took out of this book is a deeper and richer understanding of Rumi’s work. An understanding of his way of telling us Love is a religion and the only one that matters.
I was very impressed with this author!
NetGalley/July 26th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Essentials
Ilana Lopez is a biracial Jewish girl of immigrant parents who want more for her. A stable career, a good man, and a good income.
Ilana dreams of becoming a violinist. And she is talented. But her parents don’t believe she understands how difficult the life of an artist can be. So to teach her that they send her to Prague for the summer to stay with her artist aunt. There she is to study hard for her SAT exam and hopefully learn a lesson.
And she does. She learns about history and music and ghosts and more.
Behind her aunt’s house is an old Jewish cemetery. Overgrown with weeds and left to nature. She is determined to clean the cemetery and while there she meets Benjamin. A boy her own age. Except he is rather dead.
But they talk and while she cleans his grave, he shows her a different side of Prague. One where ghosts live. Everyone is enchanted by her and none so much as the old man Rudolph, who has no shadow, which is odd. He is obsessed with her and her music, even giving her a violin. He then offers to share his magic so she and Benjamin can be together. But Ilana finds out a secret and she is willing to lose this boy she has come to love if it means he can be free.
This is a very different story. A bit of magic, myth, and just a brilliant writing style.
Ready for your new read? Ellie Alexander brings us a brand new book!
Welcome to the town of Cascata on California’s Lost Coast. And meet book editor Emily Bryant who is still confused as to why she is there. Her grandmother has left her entire Victorian mansion and her book collection to Emily. But Emily is confused. She has memories of her grandmother and her mother that are good. But for some reason, after her mother got cancer and they moved, Emily’s father would never take her back or mention the past. Something awful must have happened between the adults.
The stipulation in the will means that Emily will have to edit a box of old manuscripts in order to inherit.
She isn’t thrilled, to say the least. But as she reads the manuscripts she finds they are different from what she is used to seeing.
Whenever she makes a change in the manuscript it happens in real life! Yes, there is magic here! For a short bit, this is great. She can fix everyone’s problems with a red pen. Only something goes wrong and now her edits are having the opposite effect.
And now her family’s past is coming out and unfortunately, she can’t edit that.
Things are going crazy but her saving grace may be the last manuscript. Can she right some wrongs without ruining everything?
I am a fan of Ellie Alexander and this is definitely a series I could read! I hope there is a number two coming up!
NetGalley/March 29th, 2022 by Sweet Lemon Press LLC
Things are coming along nicely in Magic Springs. Mia Malone, kitchen witch, is getting used to her new home and doing well with her catering and the cooking school. While Mia teaches the locals to cook, her own grandmother is teaching her all she can about her gift.
Mr. Darcy is still carrying around Dorian’s spirit, while Gran tries to find a spell to help him move on. And while Dorian may be here in spirit, his magical spell book is already in the questionable hands of his daughter, an actress, who is hoping the spell book will help her career.
Unfortunately for her, there are rules to be followed in magic and Cindy has messed up once already when she heads to town to seek help from Gran. And when the dead body of a hitman is found on her property, Cindy is suddenly a viable suspect.
In the background is the dastardly real estate/criminal who wants to buy Mia out and kind of got away with almost murder. He is the prime suspect for Mia. So she sets out to find a killer, which is already becoming a part-time job.
Ms. Cahoon is an expert at nailing characters. She is also a good recipe finder!
I can’t wait to see what Mia gets up to next!
NetGalley/ July 27th, 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
Climate Change meets Climate Witches in this Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal Young Adult debut novel.
Witches have been maintaining the climate for a very long time. Their powers are the powers of the seasons. With the sun peaking in the season they are born.
But the humans or shaders have gotten greedy and off-track wanting more of everything without a thought as to how to it will affect the planet or the weather. They aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. Now the witches control over the weather is getting spotty. Witches are being depleted just trying to hold things together while the weather is acting like an out of control toddler.
But there may be hope. Clara is an Everwitch, she is rare and encompasses all of the seasons. But in Autumn Clara wants nothing more than to lose her magic. The power she has is out-of-control. She has already hurt people she loved. She just wants it gone so no one will be hurt. But the weather is hurting everyone.
When Winter comes and the world is raging as disaster after disaster kills more witches Clara finally understands that only she holds the power and answers that may save them all. But first, she needs to get control of her emotions and her magic.
Sang, is helping her with that. Big problem. He’s hot. She’s hot. He’s training her and he has a strangely calming effect on her magic. But will that keep him safe if she loses control?
And when Summer comes she will have to choose between her powers and love. Her responsibility to her fellow witches and her own personal happiness.
First, I don’t read YA. So much angst. Not so for this book. I could have kept on reading if only the author hadn’t stopped writing. I loved Clara. A strong female lead and strong female characters. I adored every person in this book. I look forward to the next one.
June 1st, 2021 by Sourcebooks Fire/ NetGalley Review
Every autumn, Moonbright, Maine, is the picture of charm with its piles of crisp leaves, flickering jack-o’-lanterns … and a touch of the sweetest kind of enchantment.
This was such a magical read. All happening in one town, Moonbright, Maine, affectionately known as Halloweentown! They pull out all the stops for the parade and festivals. Everyone is involved and at the center is Bellaluna’s Bakeshop. A magical bakeshop passed down from mother to daughter for generations, now being run by Bree and her Grandmother.
Three stories set in the same town at the same time. One starring Bree herself, who is beginning to think the magic gene has skipped her, along with two other ladies who thought they knew what they wanted until a bit of magic snuck into their lives.
This was a charming collaboration from three very talented women and it works so well. It is one of those curl up with a Pumpkin Spice Latte’ and a sugar cookie and feel all the warm feels!
The Book Charmer is a charming and magical story of a town in trouble, two very strong women determined to save it, and maybe a bit of magic thrown in to make the perfect tale.
Dove Pond is a small town on the verge of financial disaster. The Dove family has always been lucky. They all have their own talents and Sarah’s is books. What better job for her to have than a librarian?! Sarah’s gift is knowing which person needs which book. To be fair the books tell her who needs what and she doesn’t argue with them. Most of them anyway.
When Grace arrives to take over the town clerk’s job and settle Momma G and eight-year-old Daisy, in Momma G’s hometown, she immediately gets off on the wrong foot. Hurting from the loss of her job, her sister and now Momma G’s worsening dementia, Grace comes off as snooty and judgy. Both cover a lot of uncertainty and fear.
As Grace and the town get to know each other better she feels as if she may have found the family she never had. But is she still leaving when her year is up?
This was so beautifully written. The characters were quirky and very relatable. I hope we see more of them.
From a beguiling voice in Mexican fiction comes an astonishing novel—her first to be translated into English—about a mysterious child with the power to change a family’s history in a country on the verge of revolution.
The day Nana Reja found a tiny baby under a bridge, wrapped in a blanket of bees, life in their small village in Mexico changed. Baby Simonopio had been kissed by the devil some said. With his deformed mouth, there are some that believe he is the devil. But not the Morales family. They have adopted Nana Reja and Simonopio and love them both deeply.
As he grows he wanders the fields with his swarm of bees. Listening to what they tell him. It seems his purpose is to watch over the family and protect them with the visions he has.
In the middle of the Mexican Revolution and the 1918 flu outbreak, the Morales family survives and with the help of Simonopio, they thrive. Is it magic? Is it love and faith?
Whichever it is there is always someone waiting to destroy what they do not understand and this evil could destroy an entire family.
If this book was this beautiful and moving after the translation, I can only imagine what it feels like in its native tongue.
It was a pleasure to read and I’m sure I will read it again!
In The Beginning Man Tried Ascending To Heaven via The Tower Of Babel. Now He Tries To Elevate His Existence Using Hallucinogenic Drugs. And, Since The 20th Century, He Continually Voyages Into Outer Space Using Spacecrafts. Prayer Thru Christ Is The Only Way To Reach Heaven.