Lilting and lyrical, this book is a gothic tale of faeries, changelings, and the magical mystical moonlight, quietly illuminating truth, and half-truth, and all the shades of pearly-grey captured in a web of lies.
May Harper is a May-day child, born on May 1, 1941 in the gentle hills of a small village in Wales – a place where hawthorn trees cluster, their heavy blossom “musky-scented and sexy”.
May, our first person POV narrator, “wild” and unrestrained, has a primal connection with the world around her, feeling every cadence of nature (physical and spiritual), she can “hear the earth hum, the way the bees do”, feel the trees questions and desires, and sense the ghosts singing in a quiet graveyard.
May is an endearing mix of free-spirit (in the wild) and blunt, clear-eyed solitary human, whose interactions with all but her closest friend, Gwen, and her family, are tinged with social awkwardness.
Born into a family laced with “seers”, potions, readers of tea-leaves and story-tellers, May has been gifted an extraordinary insight – she can spot a lie (everything from innocuous fibs to giant bald-faced whoppers) somatically, her body signaling an untruth through internally-activated reddening-ears, goose-fleshed arms, and a sudden and sure-footed intuitive reckoning.
As May approaches her seventeenth birthday her life appears settled into its own strangely-tuneful rhythm, until a lie – an unexpected and deeply disconcerting untruth, sets in motion a series of events that will rock May’s world to its very core.
“Inside every person you think you know is another you have no knowledge of”.
A beautiful and thoughtful coming-of-age portrait, May’s unavoidable journey deep into the chasm of family, lies, and secrets expands into an exploration of Truth and Love (in all their forms) and the choices we must make in pursuit of the essential.
“Some things are over, others are only just beginning”.
Part fairy-tale and all heart-tugging magic, I loved the evocative, dreamy tone of this book, and the complex, nuanced world of the characters gracing its pages.
A great big thank you to the author @carollovekin and the publisher @Honno for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.
My stop today on the @RandomTTours #blogtour for #OnlyMay