THE BOOK OF SPECULATION by Erika Swyler has been on my shelf for far too many years, and it seems to have spoken to me at just the right time. It may not be my typical go-to genre, but it was just what I needed right now: lush and lyrical language, magical realism, family, and hope.
Mermaids, librarians, circus acts, a historic house, horseshoe crabs, tarot cards, mysterious books and antique relics… well, yes, indeed… this was a fun romp of a book with emotion-laden familial themes that kept me entranced.
I was also mesmerized by the author’s story of publication (hand-binding copies of her manuscript into homemade books for submission to publishers!). Her own artwork is also featured throughout the novel.
This is one of those rare dual-period novels that works. The current story is not simply a plot contrivance that leads to the past; both stories fuel one another, are intricately woven into a fine tapestry of folklore and thematic parallel. They join to make a perfect ‘whole.’
I’m looking forward to reading Swyler’s newly released LIGHT FROM THE OTHER STARS. And for a superior review of THE BOOK OF SPECULATION, check out Lisa Ahn’s commentary!