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The Book of Speculation



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Author
Swyler, Erika
Descriptors
Brothers and Sisters
Circuses
Families
Family History
Family Relationships
Magic Realism
Location/Setting:
Connecticut
Time Period:
18th Century
2010s
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Summary
Simon Watson is a research librarian who lives alone in a crumbling home on Long Island Sound. Though in ruins, he can't bear to leave it. It’s his family’s home—the place where his mother died, where his father grieved himself to death, and where Simon raised his younger sister Enola, a tarot card reader who has run off to join the circus. Simon's family is special--the women in it have been able to hold their breath for long periods of time, but, like Simon's mother, they all have died from drowning. When Simon receives an antique book in the mail, it unlocks links to his family’s past, tracing their history of circus-performing days back to the 1700s, when the family was originally cursed. In an effort to save his very depressed sister Enola from a watery grave, Simon becomes obsessed with breaking the spell of the “mermaids” that haunts his family.
Critique
Slow to start but beautifully written, this is a dark story of magic realism. An enchanting story that shifts between present day and a 1700s tale of two lost souls--the mute boy Amos who is adopted by Peabody's circus and his obsession, Evangeline.
ISBN
9781250054807
  iBistro
# of Pages
339
Published
2015
Formats
Reviewer's Initials: CO DZ


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