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The Book of Speculation

I don’t know about you, but I typically don’t enjoy really long reviews whether it be for movies or books. I also don’t want too much to be given away and like sort of a mysterious and vague glimpse that gives me enough of an idea of whether or not I might like to read it. So, here we go. I probably won’t get around to talking about every book I read, but I’m going to try and do as many as I can. Like I mentioned before, I have a hard time remembering most of the books I read, so it’s helpful for me when I can’t recall whether or not I actually liked a book and why or why I didn’t.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

The story overall was good and I enjoyed the writing and use of description in terms of location. You can easily see in your mind’s eyes the house slowly falling apart as the sea creeps in closer and closer and you can smell the salt in the air.  Water is a prominent and important character in this book as it tells the tale of a family of mermaids and what can only be a curse that has followed several generations.  While there is a sense of urgency in the story as the narrator attempts to save his sister from what he is certain is impending death, the pace itself is sometimes slow.

If you enjoy books about family, secrets, circus life (whether it may or may not be based on fact), some mysticism, the power of books, and a taste of fantasy then I recommend this. Ideally it would be the perfect vacation read, but really any old time would work.

I give it:

Goodreads Synopsis

A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who is sent a mysterious old book, inscribed with his grandmother’s name. What is the book’s connection to his family?

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks.

One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon’s grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.

The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler’s gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic