Why did I want to read this book?
I think this book has been in my TBR list for a long time. And this summer break, I was able to find time to get myself a copy of this. I really liked the blurb and was very interested on what kind of story this would be.
What worked for me?
This book was a really nice surprise for me. It kept me turning page after page with its mystery and its characters and all their back stories.
There’s this quaint quality to the whole story that once you start reading it, it just keeps on pulling and pulling you in. The secrets, histories, and memories that Barrie is searching for or those that are only now unfolding before her make it as if you are experiencing the journey right alongside her. And at the risk of sounding cliche, the title is not just apt for what you’ll learn about Barrie, the Watson legacy, and the intertwined histories of these three families; it might as well describe how you will feel, or at least how I felt, about reading this book, which is compelled. I couldn’t stop reading and turning page after page, wanting, no, needing to find out more about all the mysterious river on fire, the family connections, the feelings and choices that Barrie makes that could change her life.
Barrie was not a difficult character to love and relate with. I find her personality to be very endearing. There’s this mix of despair and hope, tragedy and resilience, courage and vulnerability in her character that I couldn’t help but root for her. She has all these questions and she has all these hurts and trials but she’s still standing and I love how tough that makes her character and her will. Eight, on the other hand, was equally tempting in that you just want to unravel his character, peel his layers and discover his motivations, his true feelings. It wasn’t a trial at all liking this guy.
I didn’t know what to expect from the romance but gosh, it was so good. There were so many swoon-worthy moments. I can totally picture this book being made into a movie. The story alone would be able to carry the weight for the big screen but if you add the romance factor to it and the epic quality the plot has, then you’ll definitely have a winner in your hands.
I loved the setting and the whole atmosphere in the book. They work so well with the mystery and the ‘magic’ of the story. The island, with its history of the three founding families, is like a character in itself; one filled with mystery, pulsing with energy, witness to scene after scene unfolding.
The secondary characters were also really very interesting. I’ve become invested in some of them, actually. They have all these facets to their characters that at times, it was so hard to peg them as good or bad because they have all these nuances.
What did not work for me?
My over-all take on it?
This was really such a great find for me. I loved all the elements that have come together in the book. I loved how well the story flowed and how we discover more and more about the characters and the histories that have defined their paths in life. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the author of SIBA Book Award nominated Compulsion, book one in the romantic Southern Gothic trilogy, the Heirs of Watson Island, which was an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Bookstores Alliance, a Kansas State Reading Circle selection, a Goodreads Best Book of the Month and YA Best Book of the Month, and an RT Magazine Best of 2014 Editor’s Pick. The second book in the trilogy, Persuasion, will be published in October 2015.
She’s also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a three-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, the CompulsionForReading.com book drive campaign for underfunded schools and libraries, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to the discovery and celebration of young adult literature and encouraging literacy through YA series. She is also a founder and permanent mentor at1st5PagesWritingWorkshop.com, helping to shepherd aspiring writers into the publication process and help them find the right starting point for their novels in progress, Locally in her home state of Virginia, she is on the board of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, helping to promote literacy and adult education initiatives.
She lives with her husband, children, and a lopsided cat, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.
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Have you read Martina Boone’s books? What do you think about Southern plantation, small-town settings such as the one in this book?