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September 25, 2022

Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young ~ a Review

by MK French


As a teenager, Emery Blackwood’s best friend was found dead and August Salt, her greatest love, was accused of murdering her. As an adult, Emery lived on Saoirse Island to run Blackwood’s Tea Shoppe Herbal Tonics & Tea Leaf Readings. The island is steeped in folklore and magic, and odd signs herald August's return. He's not welcome on the island but wants to bury his mother’s ashes. The community wants him gone, and soon betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations may explain what happened fourteen years ago.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of magical realism novel Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
September 2022; Delacorte Press; 978-0593358511
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); magical realism

The main POV chapters are for August and Emery, but we do get a few from the others. Everyone in the book is keeping a secret of some kind, even August and Emery. The magic of the island is real, and the Blackwood family is one of the founders. The Salt family owns the orchard, the biggest employer in town, and it once belonged to the Morgan family; August stood accused of murdering Lily Morgan during the fire in the orchard. The people on the island are very insular, looking down on the tourists they need for financial reasons as well as those townsfolk they disapprove of. Everyone knows everyone else's business, which means the biggest secrets are those that the town council is part of. Emery has no idea and is caught up in the middle of it when August starts looking for the missing deed to sell the property, intending to never return. In the end, there are still those who feel that should be permanent. 

The story grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn't let go until I was the last one awake at home and I finished the book. I kept going "one more chapter," especially as more secrets were revealed. It's very well written, with the otherworldly touches feeling like a natural part of the story. Emery has gone through a lot over the course of the novel, and I was rooting for her to figure out what actually happened. Once it's pieced together, we know exactly what each person was responsible for, and why the devastation happened. Lies perpetuated more lies, and ultimately, the ones most involved paid for their involvement in different ways. It's a fascinating look into island life and how magic isn't the answer to everything. 

Buy Spells for Forgetting at Amazon


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.




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