Spells for Forgetting is a beautiful second chance love story full of small town secrets, ancestral magic, strong family ties and jealousy, and magical realism. The story is set on Saoirse Island, a misty, remote island accessible by ferry only. It’s such a perfect atmospheric setting for a 14 year old unsolved murder mystery. What really happened to Lily Morgan the night of the fire that injured Emery’s father and caused her true love, August Salt, to disappear without a trace. Emery Blackwood runs the tea shop her late mother used to run, using ancestral magic that was passed down from her mother Hannah and grandmother Albertine. Emery is truly connected to Saoirse, but for the past 14 years, a piece of her has been missing. The piece of her that will always be with August Salt. Now, after no contact and no warning, August has reappeared on Saoirse, carrying his mother’s ashes for burial at her wishes. Though August and his mother left and vowed to never return to Saoirse, it was once their home, and the island always calls you back, as they say. The residents of Saoirse, including Emery’s uncle, her father, and her tenacious on again off again partner Dutch are thrown into a tailspin with the reappearance of August, once again blaming him for Lily’s murder. Soon Emery is unsure if she can really trust anyone on the island and she begins to question everything she remembers and doesn’t remember from the night of the fire in the orchard and Lily’s death. To make matters worse, her nightmares are back again. Can Emery trust August, the boy (now man) she still loves with all of her heart?
Young has a gift for writing such vivid places – allowing readers to feel immersed in the setting of the story on so many levels. This book has a little bit of everything – magical realism, fantasy, mystery, suspense, and just the right amount of romance. My new favorite Adrienne Young book! I hope there will be more like it to come.
Thank you to Delacorte Press and Penguin Random House Library for the early review copy of this gorgeous book.