It all started with my apartment losing power in a winter blizzard. As a new resident of Salem, MA, I was ill-prepared for winter storms and decided tIt all started with my apartment losing power in a winter blizzard. As a new resident of Salem, MA, I was ill-prepared for winter storms and decided to take the infamous Hawthorne Hotel up on their "Blizzard Special." Aside from having a lovely and most enchanted stay there (the Salem Fire Department was summoned 5 minutes after I got to my room with my dog, and the fire alarm went off repeatedly, even after they had declared no fire and left), there is a point to my mention of it here in this book review.
At check-out, I happened to notice this book sitting behind the desk and made the assumption that one of the desk clerks was reading it during slow times. I pointed it out and commented that this book was on my wish list and that I've read the other two books by the author and really enjoyed them. The extremely friendly desk clerk, Angela informed me that this ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) version of the book was mine to keep, that the author had brought them in on one of her many trips to visit. Inside the front cover, there is a bookplate affixed that reads: "With Compliments of the Hawthorne Hotel."
Let me tell you how excited I was to have the power go out, when working backwards in my mind. What an amazing stroke of luck and serendipity this experience had been. As a new resident of Salem, a fan of the author and a former reading junkie, this was the most perfectly-timed and atmospheric book acquiring experience I have ever enjoyed!
Now, about the book...with a story as exciting and spell-binding as this book finding its way to me, you would think the book had a lot to live up to. Let me tell you, it more than did this experience justice! I read most of it in one sitting over a weekend of sequestered bliss in my new apartment that has been restored of heat, electricity, wifi and cable. Who needs TV and the internet when you've got a page-turner like this one to devour??? Oh, and the local aspects of this book (mentions of the Hawthorne Hotel, Proctor's Ledge, the Beverly Bridge and Pride's Crossing) are all authentically illustrated and brought to life on the page. I loved every minute of it as a new Salem resident, who lives on historic soil and passes these landmarks every day. In a town like Salem, I vow to never take for granted what once happened here, and to do my part in citizenry to support this wonderful town and its creative, warm and gracious residents.
Quick summary: The book takes place in modern-day Salem (mostly 2014), and dissects a group of murders known as "The Goddess Murders" that transpired in 1989, with some ties to the original Salem Witches and their respective bloodlines. It's a suspense that really gets built by the time the reader is about 100 pages in and from there, the author's spell is cast and the addiction takes over.
If you enjoy books set in New England, the history of Salem, a well-crafted novel that weaves actual historic events seamlessly into fictional realism, or just a good, atmospheric suspense novel, this one is for you.
A quick read by one of my favorite authors. I read it cover to cover in one summer afternoon. Recommended for fans of vivid sensory and emotive languaA quick read by one of my favorite authors. I read it cover to cover in one summer afternoon. Recommended for fans of vivid sensory and emotive language, magical realism, fairy tales, and/or love in its various forms and its ability to transform lives....more
Great writing, but the story didn't satisfy me in the same manner that Wood's first novel, The Bellwether Revivals did. Definitely worth the read if yGreat writing, but the story didn't satisfy me in the same manner that Wood's first novel, The Bellwether Revivals did. Definitely worth the read if you enjoy art or fiction about artists....more