Adult Magical Realism
A deeply atmospheric story about ancestral magic, an unsolved murder, and a second chance at true love.
Emery Blackwood’s life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead and the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her. Years later, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence on the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and running the family’s business, Blackwood’s Tea Shoppe Herbal Tonics & Tea Leaf Readings.
But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming. The morning she wakes to find that every single tree on Saoirse has turned color in a single night, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that the town has tried desperately to forget.
August knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night everything changed. As a fire raged on at the Salt family orchard, Lily Morgan was found dead in the dark woods, shaking the bedrock of their tight-knit community and branding August a murderer. When he returns to bury his mother’s ashes, he must confront the people who turned their backs on him and face the one wound from his past that has never healed—Emery.
The town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations threaten to reveal the truth behind Lily’s mysterious death once and for all.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
(4 / 5) On the island of Saiorse (how do you even pronounce that?) Emery lives unsettled, trying to forget the night years ago her best friend was killed and her boyfriend accused of murder.
When it says this book is atmospheric, I have to agree. Just reading the first few chapters made me feel fall! I’d look up after reading and feel out of place with the blazing temps. It’s a slow and methodical writing but don’t let that turn you off, I kept coming back for more.
There were quite a few characters that I was supposed to remember in this small town, but I don’t feel I got adequate time with them before needing to remember each one. It became confusing quite a few times because each person was related to certain people and that played a big part in the story.
This story is labeled as a thriller, and while there was a murder mystery, I’m not sure I’d label it as such. Magical realism is a bit more accurate but it also had a cute romance. I would’ve liked more about the witches as these witches were easy to comprehend and seemed to fit into contemporary life quite well. I really liked that aspect.
It was a great ending! It had happiness but was also a bit mysterious and spooky. Perfect!
General content summary: F words: 25, previous parental death, previous fire with a death and burn injuries, previous heart attack parental death, previous alcoholic father, alcohol (multiple, including underage), teen smoking a joint, physical child abuse (multiple references, one scene with some description), references to intimacy, descriptions of an autopsy report, teen pregnancy, arson, previous teen intimacy (few details), physical violence (brief), detailed intimacy, drowning (details), murder (shooting, no details), spousal physical abuse, theat with a gun.
Thank you to Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine for the gifted copy!
The book releases September 27, 2022.
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