Spells for Forgetting

Spells for Forgetting


There were tales that only the island knew. Ones that had never been told. I knew, because I was one of them.'

Emery Blackwood's life was forever changed on the eve of her high school graduation, when the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her best friend, Lily. She'd once dreamt of running away with August, eager to escape the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and chase new dreams together. Now, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence among this tight-knit community steeped in folklore and tradition, ruled by the seasons and ancient superstitions.

But when August returns after fourteen years to bury his mother's ashes, Emery must confront her first love and the reason he left so abruptly. But the town wants August gone again. And as the island begins to show signs of strange happenings, the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises threatens to reveal the truth behind Lily's death once and for all.

Our Review

"There are spells for breaking and spells for mending. But there are no spells for forgetting."

Spells For Forgetting was a spellbinding read, a small town drama with just a whisper of magic. The writing is beautiful and once I started reading I read it all in one sitting.

Saoirse Island is described so vivdly I could imagine myself there along with the characters. I could see how the island would appeal to tourists and found myself imagining taking the ferry to the island and travelling it's streets, and seeing locals dealing with the necessary evil of swarms of tourists. 

"The people who came to Saoirse didn't just come for the apples. The town had hardly changed in the last hundred years, and there were stories about the island and the people who lived here. Most of the old shops didn't have Wi-Fi and cellphones got little reception beyond the harbour, but the tourists came in droves to walk Main Street and recount those tales. 

Witches. I'd heard children from the mainland whisper the word like a secret from the time I was little, playing in my mother's shop as she worked. I'd always thought that strange, because on Saoirse, the word wasn't a secret. It was deep magic that ran through the blood of every woman on the island."

For everyone else the island is home but for August it is somewhere he is returning to reluctantly to fulfill his mother's final wishes to be burried there. August had left the island 14 years earlier under a cloud of suspicion following the death of a young girl. His mother rarely mentioned the island but he knew it was still in her blood. 

"I'd grown up being told that the people on the mainland were different from us, but living among them was the first time I really understood it. Mom had gotten better through the years at blending in and appearing at first glance like other mothers. But she still spent the equinox in the woods and the solstice at the sea. She still whispered old words over her teacups and I'd caught her muttering a curse as we passed the front door of our neighbours house more than once." 

Emery has spent the years since August left trying to forget the night of the fire at the orchard on the island, the night her best friend died and the town suspected her boyfriend of being invovled. In they years since August left she has found some still treat her with suspicion, believing she was somehow covering the truth for August. 

Emery's family have lived on the island for generations and have the magic in their blood that has passed down through the female side. So, when the island starts behaving unnaturally she knows something unnusual is happening. 

"Nearly six weeks late, and with no warning at all, every tree on Saoirse had turned in a single night. 

I knew better than to dismiss such things. We all did. It was the time of year when the veil between worlds was thin, and in that moment. I could feel the tingle of the Otherworld tiptoeing lightly up my spine."

I liked the understated way the author weaves the magic into the story. It had a bit of a Practical Magic vibe to it but it was also as though the supernatural element was almost irrelevent much of the time. 

People on the island rarely mention Lily Morgan and August Salt, if it is referred to it is only as 'the night of the fire', so when Emery hears August's name mentioned it is a shock. Even more of a shock when she learns her childhood love is back on the island. 

For years, I'd have given anything to hear that August had come home, I'd imagined it a million times, until there were tears streaking my face and a pain cracking in my chest. But i'd cut that part from me long ago. 

So why did it feel like it was hard to draw breath?"

With August arrival the secrets of the town begin to unnravel. 

I was genuinely sad to finish this book and to say goodbye to the characters. Spells For Forgetting is a book about magic, about lost first loves and about small-town secrets. It is a genuinely superb book with an excellent turn of phrase. 



Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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