” Of all the comforting objects in this world, few things are as reassuring and accepting as books. Books keep and reciprocate our secrets, dreams, regrets and hopes better than any friend in the world…Living alone wasn’t lonely when you were surrounded by that much history.”
All her life Sarah Allister lives on second floor of her bookstore in Salem at Blinney Lane. She does so not because she likes to stay there and intends to spend all her life there but because of a curse that inflicted the people living in that area long time ago. The curse forced them to stick in and around Blinney Lane. Sarah loves her bookstore and being around books (and the handsome delivery man whom she likes) makes her feel happy.
Everything is as usual until one day, her nephew, Ricky Allister surprisingly visits her (with an intimation just a day before his arrival) to spend his summers at Blinney Lane. He doesn’t help Sarah much in managing the bookstore and is always grumpy in whatever work he does. Despite being grumpy Sarah tells him the things he should and shouldn’t do. Sarah harbors secrets and she tries her best to hide all the secret from Ricky, however his stubbornness and curiosity forces Sarah to do something not included in her plans.
Will Ricky ever discover the curse of Blinney Lane and the secret of her aunt Sarah? Are Salem and all its people safe or is something dangerous lurking for them at Blinney Lane? Will Ricky be spared ? Will he be in danger too like the rest of the people of Salem?
At first, I was really attracted to the title and the layout of the book cover. I didn’t really think that a fantasy book can become one of my favorites since I like mystery/thriller genre the most. This book changed my perspective.
It would be an understatement to say that the author has done a really good job with the book. The third person’s point of view narration became quite effective since the book has a lot of characters. It makes it easy to follow the flow story. It’s written fluently and every subsequent chapter alters between past and present. The lay out of the chapters is like that of the “Bird Box” book.
A book lover like me gets intrigued to find out reading a book which has books and library as its central theme. It’s fascinating, isn’t it? Also, the chapters of past are set to a medieval time that really excites my ancient soul.
At first glance it seems like the story will turn to be a bloody fantasy since the beginning of the book illustrates horrible scenes that happened at Blinney Lane in the past, but it only takes a moment of the past to fully realize what is going on in the present. The story turns out to be not as bloody as it seems so initially.
Sarah is a very inspiring character. She sacrifices a lot (even her happiness) just to keep the secrets hidden from strangers of Salem and anyone who doesn’t know about its history. Her selfless character and her compassion makes her the star of the story. Its admirable how quickly she is able to think and deal with unexpected circumstances (she reads and that’s how she does it). On the other hand, Ricky views Blinney Lane as a boring place. Add to that, he lives in a library which is not at all appealing to him!
Despite his grumpy attitude, Ricky is a really admirable character (maybe even more than Sarah). Ricky is a good person which he tries to conceal with a grumpy attitude. He is also extremely hilarious! None of the books I have read so far made me laugh like Ricky’s character does.
When I started I assumed this book to be similar to any other fantasy book (filled with serious fantasy and a few interesting incidents), but when Ricky comes in he changes it all later in the book. I didn’t really expect a fantasy book to be funny. I thought fantasies were more about fights and mysteries. It surprises me! In addition, it was simply amazing to discover Ricky’s character.
That one terrible incident that happened in Blinney Lane leads the residents to help each other. I just loved all the characters. Also, how they support each other throughout the story line. Additionally, I like the old fashion life of Blinney Lane.
What I like about the book:
- All of the history associated with Blinney Lane makes sense and connects well with the main plots of the book, which in my opinion is good.
- Well thought of characters! Including a funny person in a fantasy book is very clever of the author.
- Making books and a library the book’s central theme makes the story more appealing.
- Medieval scenes are a plus points for anyone who loves old settings!
- Will really love to read the sequel of the book. Looking forward to a sequel.
What I dislike about the book:
- Nothing as such. It’s amazing!
Thank you Netgalley, Bookouture & the publisher BHC press for a copy of this book. I feel really honored.
Overall, one cannot miss reading this book.