Summer of Salt
Summer of Salt
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Annotation: Fearing that the gift of magic that all the women in her family have possessed will pass her by, Georgina embarks on a stormy last summer on the island of her youth, where a mystery surrounding a rare 300-year-old bird imparts lessons about the true nature of magic.
Catalog Number: #160904
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 256 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-249362-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-249362-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018933351
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Twins Mary and Georgina have lived on By-the-Sea Island for all their nearly 18 years, helping their mother run their inn during the annual summer festival marking the arrival of a rare bird. It seems like a scientific oddity, but Georgina knows the truth: her family is magic, and the bird is really her ancestor Annabella, who's been returning to the island for 300 years. Georgina's worried about leaving for college, but that quickly moves to the back burner when Annabella is found murdered. As island-wide anxiety sets in, Georgina and her friends try to figure out who killed Annabella, while Mary mysteriously starts to crumble. Leno cultivates a dynamic atmosphere on the isolated island populated by quirky people. The setting is in compelling contrast to the increasingly dark plot, which eventually folds in topics such as sexual assault and rape culture. Georgina's struggle to find her own magic talents adds emotional depth, and her homosexuality is treated with refreshing frankness. Hand to fans of substantial magic realism who don't mind a healthy dose of twee whimsy.
Horn Book
On twins Georgina and Mary's small island home of By-the-Sea, "you could always smell two things: salt and magic." During the girls' last summer working together in their family's inn, which caters to bird-watchers, they prepare for a future without each other and discover how their magical lineage manifests itself. A gentle family story merges with a mystery involving a rare bird in this evocative, lyrical magical-realism novel.
Kirkus Reviews
On a small island called By-the-Sea, two young women discover their magical powers and resilience.Se
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
On a small island called By-the-Sea, two young women discover their magical powers and resilience.Seventeen-year-old white girl Georgina Fernweh and her twin sister, Mary, have one more summer at home helping their widowed mother, Penelope, at their family's inn before they leave for college. Every year, bird enthusiasts flock to By-the-Sea for the arrival of Annabella's Woodpecker, dubbed the world's rarest bird and discovered and named by a distant Fernweh foremother about 300 years ago. Panic ensues when Annabella never appears, and the birders find her corpse in a barn, surrounded by her torn-up nest. The islanders superstitiously blame Mary, suspecting her of wielding magic, and Georgina promises Annabella that she will track down the murderer, even if it really is her sister. A tender, gentle romance between Georgina and Prue, visiting the island with her ornithologist brother (both are assumed white), accompanies the suspenseful murder mystery and is captured in lyrical prose. There is a clear distinction throughout between healthy relationships built on consent and harmful, uninvited attention. Along with romantic love, fierce bonds between family and friends play an important role in the story; Georgina's aromantic, asexual best friend, Vira, stands by her side to the end, and Georgina's mother supports her children by giving them the freedom to find their own ways into their magical gifts.Equal parts fantasy, romance, and mystery, this book shimmers with an irresistible energy. (Fiction. 14-18)
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 9-12

Magic passed down through generations. An island where strange things happen. One summer that will become legend.

Practical Magic meets Nova Ren Suma’s Imaginary Girls and Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap in this lush, atmospheric novel by acclaimed author Katrina Leno.

Georgina Fernweh waits impatiently for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has touched every woman in her family. But with her eighteenth birthday looming at the end of this summer, Georgina fears her gift will never come.

Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, falling in love, and the mystery behind one rare three-hundred-year-old bird—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.

Praise for Katrina Leno:

“Leno’s writing is flawless. Readers of all ages will find themselves swept away.” —VOYA

“Charming and sophisticated.” —Kirkus

“Crackles with wit, humor, and enormous love.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Introduces a fierce new presence.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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