When 17-year-old Emily’s mother dies, leaving her an orphan, Emily moves in with her grandfather in her mother’s hometown of Mullaby, North Carolina. Almost immediately, Emily begins to notice strange things about the town — starting with the fact that her grandfather is literally a giant who stands over 7 feet tall. Then there are the mysterious lights that appear outside her window at night, which nobody seems to want to talk about. But most importantly, Emily soon discovers that the entire town is hiding a secret about her mother, something that has the potential to change Emily’s life forever.
I’m starting to suspect that Sarah Addison Allen is a sorcerer of some kind; her novels all have this luxurious, magical quality that transcends ordinary experience. Or to put it less pretentiously, I love her books, and this one is no exception! I enjoyed the glimpse of life in a small town, with all its idiosyncratic personalities and inexplicable traditions. My favorite character was Julia, Emily’s next-door neighbor and the best baker in town. There’s plenty of romance and mystery in this book, and it’s a perfect read for a lazy summer afternoon. This is not my favorite novel by Sarah Addison Allen — that would be The Sugar Queen — but it was still a lovely experience. Can’t wait for her new book, which is coming out next year!