Monday, June 8, 2015

Book Review: the Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Deckle Edge, via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

It's Summer, so it's perfect for a book about mermaids!

This new book comes out in 2 weeks and I urder you to pick it up- 
it will be the must read of the Summer!

the Book of Speculation cover


Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off six years ago and now reads tarot cards for a traveling carnival.
One June day, an old book arrives on Simon's doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of "mermaids" in Simon's family have drowned--always on July 24, which is only weeks away.
As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon's family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he get to the heart of the mystery in time to save Enola?
In the tradition of Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, The Book of Speculation--with two-color illustrations by the author--is Erika Swyler's moving debut novel about the power of books, family, and magic.


This is a book that will resonate with the reader on so many levels- it is a tale of a family 'curse' but is it really a curse? Does a book have power over generation after generation? Or is it something closer to gentic affinity to depression. Is it holding onto the past and not letting yourself be forgiven, so that your sind visit upon your child? Much like the movie earlier reviewed today, this book is about secrets kept, assumptions made and stories that we tell ourselves to survive our daily lives. this is an interesting tale of heritage, six degrees of seperation, and how people come into our lives for a reason. this is a book to be savored and relished. It was hard for me to belive it was the author's first book, as she deftly handles going back and forth in time, sharing the family history as it was, from the scraps left in the book, to round out the tale. Ultimately it is a story of acceptance, letting go, and beginning a new, and well worth reading this Summer!

About the Author:

Erika Swyler, a graduate of New York University, is a writer and playwright whose work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies. Born and raised on Long Island's north shore, Erika learned to swim before she could walk, and happily spent all her money at traveling carnivals. She resides on Long Island, NY, with her husband and a petulant rabbit. THE BOOK OF SPECULATION is her first novel.

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