Everyone in a small Irish town loses something after the annual bonfire, but some losses matter more than others.
Teenager Olive loses a shoe, her jacket, a hair clip, and her cherished close relationship with Rose, her best friend. Hazel, 17, loses only her jacket, perhaps because she’s already lost so much—her mother to alcohol, her grandparents to death and dementia. She and her twin, Rowan, are camping rough in an abandoned housing development, trying to survive until they turn 18. Meanwhile, Laurel went to the bonfire only because someone had stolen her diary and those of her two best friends—the three cast a spell to get the pages back. Items disappear, then reappear as Olive, Hazel, and Laurel, all white, trade off the narrative—but one of the accounts is not what it seems. Fowley-Doyle’s lush, atmospheric storytelling contrasts brilliantly with her characters’ teenage normalcy—drinking, skiving, and cursing while mostly loving their parents and sticking up for one another.
Readers will need patience to untangle the plot’s silver threads, but those who savored Fowley-Doyle’s previous The Accident Season (2015) will relish this as well. (Fabulism. 13-adult)