A deeply atmospheric story about ancestral magic, an unsolved murder, and a second chance at true love.
Emery Blackwood’s life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead and the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her. Years later, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence on the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and running the family’s business, Blackwood’s Tea Shoppe Herbal Tonics & Tea Leaf Readings.
But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming. The morning she wakes to find that every single tree on Saoirse has turned color in a single night, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that the town has tried desperately to forget.
August knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night everything changed. 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 his past that has never healed—Emery.
The town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations threaten to reveal the truth behind Lily’s mysterious death once and for all.
***Thanks to NetGalley and Quercus for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.
solid, good read:
Spells for Forgetting is predictably unpredictable; I liked that you can tell in broad strokes what will happen, but the magic is in the details.
This is the first book I’ve read by Young, though Fable has been on my TBR for ages. Her writing is thoughtful and pays attention to the sensory details that help to place you on this island, making it feel like you’ve lived there your entire life.
There are some profoundly unlikeable characters, evil and rotten to the core. But there are also heartbreakingly endearing ones. I only wish that Albertine was much more present throughout the narrative.
I love that the island’s magic is its own character, always present and ready to make itself known. Accepted as omnipresent by these residents, respected and feared. But it was done with such a light touch, the last pages leaving a haunting effect that I loved book-wise but struggled to overcome as I finished Spells for Forgetting alone at 1 am, desperately needing sleep.
I always say I need to move books up my TBR, and I always mean it, but I’m grateful to Spells for Forgetting for reminding me that there’s a reason Young’s books are on my shelf, and maybe I should finally get around to them.
We'd had no beginning, I realized. We just always were. When I thought about it like that, it was comforting. Like there was no waiting for an end, either.