Tuesday 27 September 2022

Book Review: Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young

Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young book cover

AD* | Emery Blackwood’s life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead and the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her. Years later, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence on the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and running the family’s business, Blackwood’s Tea Shoppe Herbal Tonics & Tea Leaf Readings.

But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming. The morning she wakes to find that every single tree on Saoirse has turned colour in a single night, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that the town has tried desperately to forget.

August knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night everything changed. As a fire raged on at the Salt family orchard, Lily Morgan was found dead in the dark woods, shaking the bedrock of their tight-knit community and branding August a murderer. When he returns to bury his mother’s ashes, he must confront the people who turned their backs on him and face the one wound from his past that has never healed - Emery.

The town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations threaten to reveal the truth behind Lily’s mysterious death once and for all.

Richly atmospheric and deeply evocative, Spells for Forgetting is a gorgeous, descriptive read.

The book is set on the fictional island of Saoirse. This is an island where old magic and folklore run riot, captivating both residents and visitors alike. The magic of Saoirse is evident in the shops and businesses of its town, but it is also practised by the locals who are deeply attuned to the island. From magical signs and symbolism to practising their own spells, magic runs through the veins of everyone who lives on Saoirse.

Aside from the magical realism aspects of the book, the island of Saoirse is a gloriously captivating setting. The descriptions are exemplary, making it all too easy to picture the island's wild surroundings in your mind's eye. It's also the perfect story to read in autumn, as the season outside matches the season described within the pages of the book.

Saoirse aside, the main (human) characters in the book are Emery and August. Both were born and lived on Saoirse, but August was driven away while Emery stayed. However, August never quite found himself free of the pull of the island. When he has no choice but to return to Saoirse, August finds things eerily unchanged and quickly falls back into old routines and the rhythm of the island. Before long, though, the past is dragged up and both August and Emery are in danger once again.

I really enjoyed this book - the mystery elements complement the magical realism excellently to create an engrossing read. The characters are intriguing and there's plenty to keep you guessing as clues get revealed gradually throughout the book.

Spells for Forgetting is a great autumnal read!

Rating: 4 stars

Spells for Forgetting is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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