Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Publication date: 1 June 2017
This is a spoiler-free review.
I took a chance on Moira Fowley-Doyle’s Spellbook of the Lost and Found after falling in love with its gorgeous cover on Twitter. I haven’t read The Accident Season, her debut novel, so I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of style.
One stormy summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hair clips and jewellery, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger; something she won’t talk about.
Then Olive meets three wild, mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel and Rowan. Like Rose, they’re mourning losses – and holding tight to secrets.
When they discover the ancient spellbook, full of hand-inked charms to conjure back lost things, they realise it might be their chance to set everything right. Unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found . . .*
This book is absolutely spellbinding — no pun intended — and gorgeous. It’s a beautiful, dark, eerie tale that just works. It is set in a small Irish town and features typical teenager problems. But a horror lurks just out of sight, making Spellbook a fantastic work of magical realism. I loved the combination of the ordinary world and the fantastical — you truly get the sense that this happened. The author manages to create this sense of unease that feels so creeping and so real that you’ll be looking over your shoulder while reading.
I’ve said before on this blog that I can struggle with multiple viewpoints because there is almost always one that is far more interesting that the other(s) — every other chapter is a slog and you just want to get back to the storyline that interests you. With three points of view, I was so sure that Spellbook would suffer from this. However, Hazel, Olive, and Laurel’s stories are all fascinating and compelling. As the storylines twist together, you really don’t feel the change in view at all — something that’s so unusual for a book with multiple points of view. All the main characters, particularly these three, are well-written — they’re strong and interesting women that make intelligent decisions. Although there are a few male characters, the women really shine through in this book.
Spellbook of the Lost and Found is a book perfectly suited to a warm summer evening. It has already been released in the UK, but US readers should look forward to it hitting shelves on 8 August 2017. I urge everyone to pick this up, particularly fans of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Spellbook of the Lost and Found is a haunting read that sinks its claws into you and doesn’t let go.
Have you read Spellbook of the Lost and Found? Are you waiting on its release? Let me know!
*Copy courtesy of Goodreads