Every seven years something goes missing in the remote town of Sterling: people’s reflections, the stars in the sky, the ability to dream. Aila realises that her mother may be to blame for the curse. But some mysteries are buried very deep and some secrets want to stay hidden – and one young woman’s desire to uncover the truth may not be enough to save Sterling from the past.
A beautifully told story of love, loss and finding the truth – no matter how difficult that might be.
Another spoilery review, I’m afraid – when I love a book I find it hard to tone down the flailing!! hehe.
Oh my gosh. This book. I literally just finished it and I want to read it all over. It’s just so gorgeously written.
I was a little wary at first, as it’s set in the past, and the first few chapters are sort of stilted with that. But once they get to Stirling, it’s a whole different story.
First of all, the concept here is astonishingly awesome – unique and I love the Shakespeare angle. I can’t even imagine the research this must have involved. Second, when they discover the music variant and rush to tell Beas, the hairs were literally standing up on my arms, and it was so emotional, you really did feel that loss with the whole town and it’s regain with Beas, and later at the party.
The stuff between Juliet and Stefan was confusing at first, but it ends up being a nice piece of context, especially when the timelines catch up with each other. The hatred in his heart, and his relationship with their father, really spoke to me – especially as they basically switched, we’re left with the impression that Phineas regretted his grave robbery. I’d like to know more about the family – I sort of assume the robbery was for the ring and that was in turn to save their mum, but we don’t know what she was sick with or how their dad knew about the bones and the ring. So that would be a interesting aside.
And finally, Aila, Will and Miles. Will was a great secondary character for me, but nothing too special. Miles I would have liked more from really, insight into some of his behaviour. I liked him taking the ring and denying it though, that was lovely and well handled. And Aila. Oh Aila. Smart, sassy, gorgeous Aila. I may have a literary crush 😍. I like that she figures it out (even if she had all the help!) and perseveres, I like that she stands up for herself in a time when women weren’t expected to.
In fact my only real criticism is the time – it largely didn’t read like it was set in the 40s to me. Not sure that’s a bad thing, though.
This book is a gorgeously written magical reality, and made me teary at the end when the curse is solved. Also, while it is a fantasy book, the mystery element is down played but well done – just enough unfolding as time goes on to keep you involved in it all. Well worth a read and a high 4.5 stars ✨