Publication: 27th September 2022 – Quercus
From the New York Times bestselling author comes an evocative, compelling novel of ancestral magic, an unsolved murder, and a second chance at true love.
‘There were tales that only the island knew. Ones that had never been told. I knew, because I was one of them.’
Emery Blackwood’s life was forever changed on the eve of her high school graduation, when the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her best friend, Lily. She’d once dreamt of running away with August, eager to escape the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and chase new dreams together. Now, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence among this tight-knit community steeped in folklore and tradition, ruled by the seasons and ancient superstitions.
But when August returns after fourteen years to bury his mother’s ashes, Emery must confront her first love and the reason he left so abruptly. But the town wants August gone again. And as the island begins to show signs of strange happenings, the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises threatens to reveal the truth behind Lily’s death once and for all.
I am a huge fan of Adrienne Young’s novels. I love her writing style and she always manages to create incredible characters and fantastic worlds, but Spells for Forgetting is completely different from her previous novels. For starters, this is more of an adult novel instead of a young adult and it is contemporary. It’s a mystery story with a pinch of magic and folklore.
Spells for Forgetting is set on the island of Saoirse, in the state of Washington, where people take care of each other and secrets can turn deadly. Atmospheric and misty, the island is itself one of the protagonists of the story, always surrounded by an aura of mystery and magic. The other protagonists are Emery Blackwood and August Salt. Theirs isn’t a simple teenage first love, it’s the kind of love that lasts forever and that could reignite even after fourteen years apart.
When they were eighteen, Emery and August had a plan: leave Saoirse together. But then there was the fire and Emery’s best friend was found dead, murdered. August was suspected, even though his guilt was never proven. And then he and his mother left, without saying goodbye to anyone, leaving Emery heart-broken.
Fourteen years later, August returns to Saoirse to bury his mother and to cut his ties to the island once and for all. Emery still lives there, running her mother’s teashop. They haven’t seen each other in fourteen years, but they finally have the chance to deal with the feelings they both still have for each other, their history, and Lily’s death. However, the close-knitted community of Saoirse is not at all happy to see August back, especially as his presence risks bringing to light secrets and truths best left buried.
I loved Spells for Forgetting. It is a dark, haunting, intense story about secrets, lies, jealousies, betrayals, magic, and tradition and I never wanted it to end, even though I wanted to know the truth: who killed Lily? What is August hiding? What is Emery hiding? What is everyone on the island hiding? I couldn’t put it down until I found out!!!
A huge thank you to Quercus and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.
Adrienne Young is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Fable duology and the Sky in the Deep duology. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
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I can’t wait to pick this one up! Great review.
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