I cannot express enough how much I love this author. Her books are magic, just pure magic. The writing, the characters, the stories, the themes… all of it is just magic. She has three others before this one, but I just finished this book, so I thought I would review it first.
This book, like her others, takes place in a small town in the South and centers on the social structure, spoken and unspoken, of that town, but it especially focuses on the secrets that lie in wait, the connections between people, and the small magics that are handed down, generation to generation. Pennies on the windowsill gets rid of ghosts, peppermint on the windowsill keeps unwanted visitors away, lavender raises spirits, birds try to protect you and cake can call someone home. The little things your grandmother told you and you never bothered to forget, that you never really believed and yet, nonetheless, indulge in when you’re scared or upset.
It’s amazing to me how real she can make her stories, while maintaining that one foot in the world of fairy tales. This one takes place in a small town with more secrets than most, thanks to a con man who visited the town seventy five years before, and concerns the granddaughters of two of the founders of the town’s Women’s Society Club, neither of whom is happy or where they should be in life. I won’t spoil it for you, since you absolutely, without question, should buy this book, love it, and take care of it forever, but in the end, secrets are told, friendships are forged and spirits are put to rest. Oh, and one of the characters from her first book makes a cameo appearance, which made me very happy.
There’s something about her books, and I can’t explain what it is exactly, but they linger with you, long after you read them, and you find yourself believing in the little magics, the things you’re far too sensible to believe in normally, but persist in your hindbrain nevertheless. If you’ve read one of my earlier posts, where I list the authors that I love enough that I will read any sentence that they should choose to write, then you already know how much I love this author. And even though there’s a certain repitition to her books, since she’s clearly a woman who’s writing what she knows, namely life in a small Southern town, I can’t recommend them enough.