I was actually going to save this review for an overall ‘what I’ve been reading lately’ styled post, sharing a brief overview of a few books I’ve read recently. However, after the story captivating me from the beginning with its whimsical story-telling and its compelling characters, I had to dedicate an entire post to this gorgeous novel alone.
Author: Diane Setterfield Published: January 2019 Pages: 480 Rating: 5* stars
Along the borders of this world lie others.
There are places you can cross.
This is one such place.
This is a story rife with compelling, likeable characters. Setterfield has created a community in which we feel a part of after just a few chapters. Each of them, as ordinary as they may seem in their working-class village, have dark secrets and pasts that will inevitably come back to discomfit them. It is through the unveiling of their past that the plot slowly unravels, even the most minutiae of details having significance to the plot’s climax.
It is the magical realism that makes this story so captivating. The line between reality and the supernatural fissures as folklore and superstition play into the characters’ everyday lives. Tales of ghosts, the supernatural mystery of the girl and fortune-telling spread throughout the town like wildfire, the villagers not knowing what to believe. Can a young girl who was found dead really come back to life?
Most importantly, this is a book about story-telling. Setterfield explores its power as folklore finds itself embedded in each of the characters’ individual stories. The young girl is just one mystery which opens the window to a story teeming with various plots, background history and twists which will keep you guessing until the end.
This is an enchanting tale with a timeless quality in which every intricate detail is significant. It is an atmospheric, character-driven novel where magic can be found in the mundane. Savour this story. Absorb every meticulous detail. Let it entrance you. I couldn’t recommend this epic fairy-tale more and I can’t wait to read more by Setterfield. This is how you tell a story.
Thank you Atria Books and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Thanks for reading!