An absorbing fantasy about the power of art, family secrets—and obsession.
Ivy and her sisters have a secret. Their Great-Aunt Maeve is actually the reclusive author Adela Madden, who wrote Ivory Apples, a book that still, many years after publication, inspires a steady stream of fan mail. And some of those fans can be obsessive. That secret only becomes more urgent for Ivy when, wandering in the woods at Maeve’s house, she stumbles upon a secret grove full of sprites, one of whom steps into her. So when a woman named Kate Burden strikes up a friendship with the girls and starts insinuating herself into their lives—and talking about how much she loves Ivory Apples—Ivy is immediately suspicious. But Kate’s intentions are far more sinister than even Ivy suspects, and Piper, the sprite living inside her, is too much an agent of chaos to help. Soon Ivy and her sisters are plunged into a nightmare, and the cost of keeping Maeve’s secret proves to be greater than they could have imagined. Goldstein (Weighing Shadows, 2015, etc.) has crafted a dark, suspenseful tale in which the power of the faery world is appealingly disruptive and dangerous. The dreamlike quality of portions of the book sometimes works to undercut the impact of genuinely traumatic events, but overall the story is gripping and unusual enough to keep the reader invested.
This dark, eerie tale about the lengths people will go for a taste of magic will keep readers guessing until the end.