I fully admit that I picked this book up because of the gorgeous cover. Happily, I found the tale gripping, and couldn't put the book down. Rebecca Wolff is a poet in her other life, and her mastery of language shows. A novel, of course, is a different animal than a poem, but I felt her craft really came through. The narrative is gothic
, as in equal parts horror (or supernatural/occult) and romance. Wikipedia calls the effect "a pleasing sort of terror," which to me seems perfect for a coming of age story. It's also overwrought, but that also fits perfectly, as the narrator is looking back at her adolescence.
However, some things bear reading quickly. This isn't a story I would want to live with for any extended period. There's a *lot* of material to make hay with here - witch trials, drowned New England towns, attractive newcomers in a small town, an unreliable teenage narrator on the verge of her sexual awakening. Maybe it's all a bit *too* much? I guess that's the whole point of gothic, though.
Bonus round - an interview
with the author!