The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What an outstanding debut [into my life]. I was really surprised and delighted that I was able to read this ARC. Saundra Mitchell is a writer to look out for.
THE VESPERTINE is about a young girl named Amelia who goes in search of a well-formed marriage in Baltimore. Add in forbidden romance, supernatural awesomeness, gift-turns-to-curse plotlines and you're in for a whirlwind that will catch your attention on fire.
The characters were so well developed I couldn't help but love them. Amelia was an excellent heroine. Zora was the best friend that any girl could ask for and completely believable. Nathaniel was definitely interesting and not without his quirks that made the connection between Amelia and he so entirely original.
I loved that Amelia's power to tell fortunes started out much like a parlor trick. It reminds me of how excited one gets when they ask someone to read their tarot cards and such. And then it turns into such a horrific curse. It proved that the power wasn't fun and games and it wasn't always a gift-- it was a heavy burden that Amelia had to bear.
I also felt that the way certain side characters reacted to some of these fortunes coming true was simply perfect. It proved the duplicity that each human shares and really fleshed out their society.
The only thing I wish is that it could have been a lot longer. At times there were long gaps, which was both refreshing and curiosu at the same time. The way that Mitchell goes back and forth from the present to the past to tell Amelia's story could have been developed a little bit more. I would have liked to see more of the present Amelia and how the past had shaped her since, but all in all it was a satisfying end to a story. If there's more, I will gladly read it.
Excellent debut into my literary life, Miss Mitchell.
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