The story follows Towner, a young woman who returns home to Salem to help find her missing Great-Aunt Eva, who was more like a mother to her than an aunt. The women in Towner’s family are lace readers; they can foresee the future by studying patterns of lace. Towner has this ability, too, but she has vowed to leave this part of her ancestry behind her. Upon returning home, she’ll discover that’s only one of the many things she will have to confront to solve the mystery of Eva. Subtle magic haunts Towner’s clouded past. She’ll need the help of her family and even a few new faces, one being a possible romantic interest. The history of Salem, Towner’s family’s history, and her own past experiences are entwined to create an engaging ride of mystery and self-discovery.
I loved this book. Before I read A Discovery of Witches (review) and Catching Fire (review), this was my favorite book this year. It still might be, but it’s a close call. The element of magic and the setting (Salem) made this book appealing to me. But I was unprepared for everything Barry had to offer. There are layers of storyline that all merge flawlessly together at the end, leaving the reader emotional but satisfied. I was still thinking about this book weeks after I finished reading it. I remember researching Yellow Dog Island, hoping it was a real place that I could visit someday.
If you read it, you’ll be embarking on an unforgettable journey.