Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Silver Bough

Another winner from Lisa Tuttle. This one doesn't focus on a particular myth, as The Mysteries did, but it does invoke the legends of Avalon, the island of Apples, the mysterious island where King Arthur is said to have gone to wait to rise again.
Appleton, a pennisula off the coast of Scotland, used to be known for it's luscious apples and cider. The annual festival was a huge event where the Apple Queen and a dark stranger shared a special apple to ensure the continuation of Appleton's good fortune. But that good fortune ended 50 years ago when the Apple Queen fled the town before sharing the apple with her mysterious stranger, and now Appleton is a shell of it's former self. The orchards are gone, plowed under, and no apples grow in Appleton.
Three American women have come to Appleton, each seeking something. The Kathleen, local librarian seeks a life in a quaint, quiet town, Nell seeks solitude and escape from her sorrow, and Ashley searches for answers about her grandmother's past - why she, the last Apple Queen fled Appleton for a new life across the sea. When a mysterious son of the town returns unexpectedly and a deep sea earthquake cuts Appleton off from the rest of the world, all three women find themselves caught up events that will change the course of Appleton's future, for in a small walled orchard, a magical Golden Apple grows again.
I ordered this one because one of the characters is a librarian - a sure sell for me. Then I read The Mysteries while waiting for this one to be delivered, & loved it. I loved The Silver Bough even more, though. The librarian character & the wonderful library are great bonuses, but this is an enchanting story. Appleton is such a magical place that I don't think anyone could read the novel without wanting to visit. A wonderful combination of fantasy, romance and mystery, this one kept me interested from beginning to end.
As for teens, I think some will enjoy Tuttle's books - the same who like O.R. Melling's Chronicles of Faerie and other fairy/mythology stories. However, I'd buy the works of Melling & Holly Black for those teens before Tuttle's - while hers are appropriate for teens, they are aimed at adults. Both The Silver Bough & The Mysteries contain young characters, though (college aged), so many teens will find these appealing.

Tuttle, Lisa. The Silver Bough. New York: Spectra, 2006.

What I'm Reading: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
On My Book Shelf: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice


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