The best way to describe this novel is a book within a book. It will be said that Joan Ashby captured readers in the literary landscape that Wolas has created. There is such delicious, intricate detail in each and every snippet of her short stories, that I was hungry for more.
Right off the bat, the last line of the prologue perfectly captures your attention, makes you constantly rethink all of your various theories about why xyz happened, stays in the back of your mind for safekeeping for the entirety of this novel.
The first couple of parts were so intriguing, I was so invested in the plotline and characters that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from what was happening. Here we experience the capture of the magical pivotal moment, that turned the tide in Ashby’s life and will effect everything else in the book. Wolas keep on coming back to that point, readers keep on coming back to this point, it’s that powerful and essential to the plot. Even though the climax comes more towards the middle-end range, everything starts right here, with this twist at the beginning.
All of the descriptions are so lush and beautiful, like for example:
“Her sudden laugh was hollow and high, collapsing quickly, than trying to rise back up through her throat, tearing at her vocal cords, some inhuman wail wanting to be released, that she forced back down. How ridiculous, planning termination and the resumption of her solitary life one minute, and in the next designing a personal, private playground for an undesired child.”
The only thing that made me pause and take off one star was the fact theat in the middle there is a sudden change of perspective, which honestly bored me so much to the point where I was really tempted to start skimming it. I understand why it was necessary to the general plot, but it was a slog to read through because I genuinely didn’t care about this specific character ever.
The cover describes the essence of this book perfectly, it’s like holding a kaleidoscope up to someone’s life, constantly analyzing the various choices that they have or haven’t made, experiencing life through their eyes and in their shoes. If you’re looking for an experience like that, than this is the book for you to read.
**Thanks to FLATIRON BOOKS for providing me with an Advanced Reading Copy.**