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Friday, July 3, 2015

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

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The Book of Speculation
by Erika Swyler

This is the story of a family that is haunted by loss.  Siblings Simon and Enola have both tried to find their way after the death of their parents.  Their mother died in a drowning and their father died of a broken heart.

Simon, a librarian, lives in the family home that is crumbling into the sea.  He has lost his job, is in love with a woman he has know all his life, but can't quite connect to, and feels a terrible guilt for not being able to save the house, his sister or his job.

Enola, taking after their mother, has joined a traveling show, reading Tarot cards.  She is often depressed and only occasionally contacts her brother.  When she arrives back home, she brings with her a boyfriend covered in an octopus tattoo.

When Simon receives an ancient book from an antiques dealer, he becomes obsessed with solving the puzzles of the book.  Why was this book sent to him?  What does it have to do with his family?  Is his family cursed?

The story is told from a fresh perspective, and what lingers long after I have finished, is how the house and the book are just as important characters as Simon, Enola, Alice and Frank.

The Book of Speculation reminds the reader that secrets are dark shadows that creep into your life when you aren't expecting them or ready for them.  This dark book makes you yearn for a bright spring day, a cool ocean breeze and a frank discussion with your siblings!

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