Book Review; Spells For Forgetting- Adrienne Young

Page Count 352

Publication date September 2022

Publisher Delacorte Press

GoodReads link

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Synopsis

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-Emery Blackwood’s life was forever changed on the eve of her high school graduation, when the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her best friend, Lily. Now, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence among the community that fractured her world in two. She’d once longed to run away with August, eager to escape the misty, remote shores of Saiorse Island and chase new dreams; now, she maintains her late mother’s tea shop and cares for her ailing father. But just as the island, rooted in folklore and tradition, begins to show signs of strange happenings, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that no one wants to remember.

August Salt knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night that changed everything. 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 the past that has never healed—Emery. But the town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises that span generations threatens to reveal the truth behind Lily’s death once and for all.

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Review

I’ve heard great things about Adrienne Young, several times I’ve considered picking up Fable but if I’m being brutally honest.. I HATE the cover and it puts me off every time.
When this title appeared on Netgalley I was intrigued by the synopsis, liked the cover and title and finally thought it was time to give Young a try.

The Island of Saiorse (pronounced ‘Sur-sha’, I looked it up immediately so I wouldn’t keep stumbling over it) is a beautiful setting.
I’m easily won over by small communities in rural settings- especially tightknit communities with secrets, grudges and tangled family histories.
Young does a fantastic job of making the reader feel like an insider, introducing us slowly to each name on the island and the ties between them all.

Spells For Forgetting centres mostly around Emery and August, a couple separated as lovestruck teenagers fourteen years earlier by the unsolved tragedy of fire and murder.

Told in first person, present we switch between the perspective of both main characters initially, with the well paced addition of lesser characters as the story develops both in past and present timelines.
Whilst some find too many voices can become difficult, I thought Young had fleshed each character out well enough for me to follow easily.
Using multiple perspectives allowed the reader insight that Emery and August couldn’t provide, adding further detail to the mystery.

The relationships between Emery and others were very well done, August in paritcular was a joy to read.
I would have liked to see Lily’s perspective in the past timeline though I do understand why Young used the personification of Saoirse instead.

The pacing of Spells For Forgetting was perfect and despite a small amount of repetition in the character monologues I very much enjoyed all aspects of the novel.
The truth behind the drowning on dry land probably should have been obvious to me but I was still shocked by the reveal.
A low fantasy thriller perfect for an autumn read, maybe I should pick up Fable after all!

Features & Functions:

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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