Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Practical Magic meets Nova Ren Suma’s Imaginary Girls and Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap"? Of course I had to read this!
And better yet: it delivered.
It's the summer after graduation from high school. Georgina Fernweh and her twin sister, Mary, have been raised on an island and Georgina is looking forward to many things:
First, going to college on the mainland.
Second, her 18th birthday. Well, is "looking forward" the right way to phrase it? All Fernweh women have magic and their magic shows itself by their 18th birthday. Some, like Mary, have their magic from birth -- Mary can float. Others, like Georgina, wait. And wait. And wait.
Third, the annual return of a hundreds year old rare bird, only ever seen on the island in summer. Family lore says an ancestor had the magic to turn herself into a bird -- and never turned back.
Fourth, meeting a girl, because she's on a small island and the other out lesbians are either taken, someone she already dated, or someone she's not interested in.
I don't want to give spoilers, of course, but I love how the magic worked, how the family viewed their magic, and how others on the island treat these magical women. I was surprised by the sudden turn mid way through.
There are two things I figured out early, but that's more because of the type of reader I am; also, the author gave us clues and I put the dots together.
I did wonder how the practical elements worked -- I'm the type who wondered just how isolated the island was, and the infrastructure, and about how often new folks moved permanently to the island.
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