Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Book of Speculation

Happy Hump Day (somehow that just sounds wrong)!  It is Wednesday!  Big Brother starts tonight (a guilty pleasure).  I actually like this show (most of the time).  It used to be one of the only shows on during the summer and it gave me something to watch!  I am amazed at how these people behave on television!  Some of them are such slobs!  It will be interesting to see what happens this year. 

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler is an interesting book.  Simon Watson is a librarian in Napawset.  He receives a book in the mail from Martin Churchwarry of Churchwarry and Sons.  The book is very old and, unfortunately, suffers from water damage.  Simon starts reading the book because his grandmother’s name is written in it.  The book was started by Hermelius Peabody who ran a type of traveling carnival called Peabody’s Portable Magic and Miracles.  There was the wild boy, the fortune teller, the mermaid, and etc.  The book turns out to be an owner’s log.  It is supposed to always stay with the show.  The book has ideas for acts, the names of the performers, accounting information, items obtained, and so on. 

The book makes Simon research his family history.  Simon discovers that there is a trend. Simon lost his mother when he was a little boy.  His sister, Enola, was only two at the time.  While their mother was an expert swimmer and could hold her breath for close to ten minutes under water, she drowned.  Then Simon finds out that his grandmother drowned.  The same month as his mother.  They both died in July and before they were thirty years old.  Upon more research he finds out that the women in his family have all drowned before they were thirty in the month of July.  Simon is worried about his sister, Enola.  She has come home for a visit and is acting strangely.  Simon believes the book was sent to him for a reason. 

The book alternates between modern time with Simon and the past when Hermelius Peabody meet the Wild Boy (they named him Amos).  Amos was the product of a farmer’s wife and a traveling salesman.  The wife’s husband left him in the wood when he was old enough to feed himself and walk.  Amos came upon Peabody and traveling acts.  Amos was a mute.  The story tells of Amos’ time with Peabody, how he learned to read tarot cards, and fell in love with a “mermaid”.  It all connects together.  Can Simon figure out why the women in his family are cursed in time to save Enola?

I give The Book of Speculation 3 out of 5 stars.  It is an interesting story, great idea, but the book is a slow read.  It just seems to go on forever.  There is a copious amount of foul language in this book (and completely unnecessary), mild violence (people hitting each other), and a moderate amount of sex.  This book had great potential, but instead it is a mediocre (I found it dissatisfying).  There are some interesting pictures in the book (based on drawings in the carnival book).

I received a complimentary copy of The Book of Speculation in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you for stopping by!  I am currently reading a lovely Amish romance titled Change of Heart by Molly Jebber.   I hope everyone has an enjoyable evening and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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