The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler's gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic.
Simon Watson lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, works for a travelling carnival and seldom calls.
On a day in late June, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon's grandmother. The book tells the story of two doomed lovers who were part of a travelling circus more than 200 years ago. The paper crackles with age as Simon turns the yellowed pages filled with notes and sketches.
He is fascinated, yet as he reads Simon becomes increasingly unnerved. Why do so many women in his family drown on 24th July? And could Enola, who has suddenly turned up at home for the first time in years, risk the same terrible fate?
As 24th July draws ever closer, Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book and decode his family history before it's too late.
©2015 Erika Swyler (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd