Yay for the library catalog turning up a title I’d never heard of while I was searching for The Night Circus. The Book of Speculation utilizes a variation on what I call the Kate Morton Formula (yes, I know she didn’t pioneer it, but whatever). A present-day individual comes into possession of a piece of the past and commences unraveling a family mystery, the past story and present story alternating in the book. In this case, the mystery is why all the women in Simon Watson’s family have a tendency to drown themselves. Oh, and the women are all circus performers. Swimmers and divers who can hold their breath for unbelievable lengths of time. Mermaids. Drowning mermaids. Honestly, if the book description had just been “Drowning mermaids” I still would have been sold.
The present chapters are told in first person present tense (ugh, why?), and the past in third person past tense. I’m never going to love present tense, but it wasn’t too obnoxious. Aside from that, I enjoyed it. The characters are memorable and the supernatural elements add a lovely flavor. I’m pretty pleased overall with this random library find.
(Read for Halloween Bingo Creepy Carnivals square)