Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review - The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who is sent a mysterious old book, inscribed with his grandmother's name. What is the book's connection to his family?

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks.

One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon's grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.

The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler's gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic.

Hardcover, 339 pages

Published June 23rd 2015 by St. Martin's Press 
source: netgalley

Books taking place in two time periods seem to be pretty popular these days.  The Book of Speculation has both a modern day setting as well as one beginning in the 1700's.  The plot is laid out nicely in the synopsis above, there isn't much more I will add.  I really wanted to love this book, the premise is great - mysterious and it's about books, the cover spectacular and came highly recommend.  I liked the book but was hoping for more.

Simon Watson is the current day librarian and has hit a turning point in his life.  When a mysterious book shows up he sets out to figure out why it was sent to him in the first place.  The story slowly unfolds weaving back and forth in time. I had a hard time connecting with the characters especially those of current day.  They lacked spark and came across as boring and selfish.  The older story kept me interested, though dark at times

I appreciate the authors unique idea for this book and the amount of work that went into it.  No doubt I will check out her future novels.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you were disappointed with this one. The synopsis did sound promising.