The Book of Speculation [electronic resource] : A Novel. Erika Swyler.
- ISBN: 9781466857797 (electronic bk)
- Physical Description: 1 online resource
|Summary, etc.:|| One of BuzzFeed's 24 Best Fiction Books of 2015"As Simon, a lonely research librarian, searches frantically for the key to a curse that might be killing the women in his family, he learns strange and fascinating secrets about their past. A tale full of magic and family mystery, The Book of Speculation will keep you up all night reading."—Isaac Fitzgerald, BuzzFeed Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off six years ago and now reads tarot cards for a traveling carnival.One June day, an old book arrives on Simon's doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of "mermaids" in Simon's family have drowned—always on July 24, which is only weeks away.As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon's family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he get to the heart of the mystery in time to save Enola? In the tradition of Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, and Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, The Book of Speculation—with two-color illustrations by the author—is Erika Swyler's moving debut novel about the power of books, family, and magic.
|Reproduction Note:|| Electronic reproduction. New York : St. Martin's Press, 2015. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 3898 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB).
- Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2015 May #1
Long Island librarian Simon Watson knows loss. His mother purposely drowned herself and his father died a few years later. The little sister he had to raise ran off and now contacts him only infrequently. One day Simon receives an unsolicited book in the mail, posted from a book dealer who invites Simon to contact him for more information. The mysterious volume documents some previous suicides by drowning dating back to the early nineteenth century. Amazingly, they all took place on July 24. More sleuthing turns up the startling information that these doomed women were, in fact, ancestors of his mother, and, like his mother, they were all employed as circus performers. Simon then has to figure out if this family curse will claim his sister's life as well, and the next July 24 is but weeks away. Illustrations by the author add even more atmosphere to her prose. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
ERIKA SWYLER is a graduate of New York University. Her short fiction has appeared in WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Litro, Anderbo.com, and elsewhere. Her writing is featured in the anthology Colonial Comics, and her work as a playwright has received note from the Jane Chambers Award. Born and raised on Long Island's North Shore, Erika learned to swim before she could walk, and happily spent all her money at traveling carnivals. She blogs and has a baking Tumblr with a following of 60,000. Erika recently moved from Brooklyn back to her hometown, which inspired the setting of the book. The Book of Speculation is her debut novel.
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