Walton follows The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender with a lyrical and robust multigenerational story set on the fictional Anathema Island in the Pacific Northwest…In succinct, evocative sentences, Walton paints vivid scenes while maintaining a gripping plot. Addressing abandonment, self-harm, first love, and other topics, Walton weaves a rewardingly complex tale that brims with suspense and romance.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Walton conjures a rich sense of place in her sophomore novel, and the backstory of the Blackburn women is undeniably fascinating. Additionally, she does an excellent job handling the topic of Nor’s self-harm: Nor’s already sought treatment by the time her story begins, and though her compulsive thoughts and anxiety are still there, she’s learned how to manage those thoughts in a healthy way…the eerie atmosphere, lyrical language, and romance subplot will still entrance many.
As in her 2014 debut, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Walton’s writing is atmospheric and ethereal. Anathema Island, with its foggy shores, rich diversity of flora and fauna, and quirky tourist shops, comes to vivid life…Nor’s wicked and violent sociopath mother is memorable and her scenes are truly chilling…Walton’s sophomore effort is haunting and, especially in the last act, thrilling.
—School Library Journal
Like in The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton’s story is lyrical and atmospheric, and you’ll find yourself getting lost on Anathema Island.
An atmospheric, blood-drenched dark fantasy for a cold and stormy night.