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The Book of Speculation – Erika Swyler

Title: The Book of Speculation

Author: Erika Swyler

Genre: Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction

Plot: Simon Watson was a research librarian in a small town who just lost his job. Now he has no way to save his house that’s slowly crumbling into the ocean he lives above, and that was his childhood home. A book appears on his doorstep on that same day. It tells of a traveling circus, two star crossed lovers, and ‘mermaids.’ All the woman who’ve been ‘mermaids’ have died in the same way, drowning, and on the same day as Simon’s mother. As Simon digs deeper into the story, his fortune telling sister, Enola, comes to visit. Enola becomes increasingly agitated and drawn to the ocean they live next to. Is it because they’re losing their cherished childhood home? Or is there some connection to the mysterious book? Simon is running out of time to find out. As the day draws closer, Simon becomes more and more obsessed with figuring out the connection between the book and his family and trying to save his sister. Will he be sucessful? Will he save his sister and his house? And can he save himself?

Rating: 3.0 – a steady read with a good plot twist here and there

Opinion: This was an interesting read that jumps back and forth in time. I thought it would be a little more whimsical than it really was. It was a little darker than I expected, but still a good read. I got to learn a little more about the times of the traveling circuses and the superstitions surrounding them. I enjoyed learning about circus life, too, in a more modern time. The plot was slow and steady with a few twists and turns. There were one or two points that I should’ve seen coming, but I was paying closer attention to other details of the book’s plot. There were a few times the book got a little tedious to read, but it picked up again. Though it does a good job of holding on to a sense of foreboding. This would be a good book to read if you want a cozy book to read about a small town mystery that jumps back and forth in time, and if you like books with a little suspense.

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