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432 pages, ebook
First published August 15, 2017
Malina whistled softly, then bit her cherry-cleft lower lip. “Orange blossom absolute, wow. That’s wonderful. I’ve never smelled one that dramatic. There’s amber in there too, I think, and maybe myrrh? And lots of other things I can’t recognize, I’m sorry.
Some days she baked doe’s back cake, a roulade of airy hazelnut dough and chocolate ganache dusted with ground hazelnuts, yet there was always an element of surprise ― a sprig of mint that should have soured the cake, but that instead put you in mind of a glen in the woods. And with the next bite, a speck of wild strawberry, the kind that grew alongside forest trails, until you felt you walked them yourself with the liquid gleam of a fawn’s eyes fixed on you from the brush.It’s lovely, but the pace often lags, perhaps partly as a result of this attention to detail.
Mama’s desserts were nothing if not suspenseful.
“Your beauty is a force, you know, a power all its own. It can be both sword and shield for you, and win you anything you want.”
“Nothing is ever simple. There was no such thing as the one and only truth, and that too was a freedom in itself.”
“Or maybe that was what it always felt like, knowing you might lose everything when you’d only just discovered all there was to live for. The sheer brilliance of the light against the darkness was almost too much to stand.”
'Above us the pine branches crossed each other, carving up the night sky into a puzzle of star-pricked pieces with wind whistling through them.'*