Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Received: Received a copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 23, 2015
Buy From / Buy From

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.

My Review:

I was really interested in this story because of the idea of this mysterious book showing up at Simon's house and revealing to him a new story of his family. Simon is going through a tough time, his parents have passed away and his house is slowly crumbling to the ground, so when he receives a package with a book that has a connection to his family history he begins to look deeper into the past and how it could affect his future.

The idea that a book has such a connection to someone's past is haunting, I enjoyed the historical significance that this mysterious book had on Simon, and it was great to see the back and forth between the two different story lines. As Simon goes through a tough time this book is the one thing that keeps him going. He spends all his time learning more about his family history to try and stop fate from causing more havoc.

What the book contained was not really what I was interested in, it was watching Simon try and change the magical history his family has. I can say that I was captivated at points, but there were times where I felt like the two stories were not completely matching up, and I was having trouble keeping up with how they connected with one another. The side of the story with the circus characters got a little more interesting as the story went on, I just wanted to understand a little more what Simon's story had to do with these people.

Simon really trusted everything this book had and he let it control his life, it causes him to dig deep to find out what happened to the women in his family, I felt that this search almost ruins Simon, it's not helping him solve his problems he has in life, it just keeps him busy and I believe it makes life harder on him.

This is a book that I am back and forth on how I feel about it, on one hand it was a great story about family, but on the other hand I just felt it was missing that little something to really push it over the edge.

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