Nor comes from a long line of witches bound to a stormy island on the Pacific Coast, but she would prefer to just blend into the background... until her absent mother becomes an overnight celebrity, and Nor finds herself at the center of events that threaten everything she holds dear. Recommended By Leah C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.
When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn "the witch" out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred – some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it. In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.
"Walton follows The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender with a lyrical and robust multigenerational story set on the fictional Anathema Island in the Pacific Northwest…In succinct, evocative sentences, Walton paints vivid scenes while maintaining a gripping plot. Addressing abandonment, self-harm, first love, and other topics, Walton weaves a rewardingly complex tale that brims with suspense and romance." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Walton conjures a rich sense of place in her sophomore novel, and the backstory of the Blackburn women is undeniably fascinating. Additionally, she does an excellent job handling the topic of Nor’s self-harm: Nor’s already sought treatment by the time her story begins, and though her compulsive thoughts and anxiety are still there, she’s learned how to manage those thoughts in a healthy way…the eerie atmosphere, lyrical language, and romance subplot will still entrance many." Booklist
"An atmospheric, blood-drenched dark fantasy for a cold and stormy night."
About the Author
Leslye Walton was born in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps because of this, Leslye has developed a strange kinship with the daffodil — she too can only achieve beauty after a long, cold sulk in the rain. She was named a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist and a Waterstone Best Book finalist for her debut novel, The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, which was also awarded the 2015 Pacific Northwest Book Award, the 2015 Washington State Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award, and the 2015 PEN Center Children's/Young Adult Literary Award.
Leslye is a full-time writer currently living in Seattle, Washington with her chihuahuas, Mr. Darcy and Doc Holliday. Her next novel, The Price Guide to the Occult, comes out March 2018.