Archives for April 2016

Gardening Talk at the Smyrna Library

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Morning glories

Did you know that nasturtium blossoms once sparkled with lights?

Want to grow a tomato that’s so delicious and prolific, it helped a farmer pay off his mortgage?

Join me at the Smyrna Library on Monday, April 25, and I’ll spin some stories about old-fashioned, heirloom flowers and veggies. I’ll tell you why today’s gardeners still grow these “antique” varieties, and where to find them (hint: the big garden centers don’t usually sell them).

My talk starts at 6:30 p.m., and admission is FREE. Check out this link for more info. See you there!

~Lynn

Book Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison

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What do you wish for?

In author Samantha Mabry’s debut novel, A Fierce and Subtle Poison, seventeen-year-old Lucas is drawn irresistibly to a mysterious house, said to be cursed, that sits at the end of a street in Old San Juan. Locals scribble their wishes on notes and toss them into the courtyard, which is filled with poisonous plants, and it’s rumored that a girl with green skin and hair like grass lives behind its walls.

While Lucas spends the summer with his father, a hotel developer, idling away his time and partying with friends, several girls from town go missing. One of them is pretty Marisol, whom he’s been seeing.

As Lucas starts to look for answers to the disappearances, he meets Isabel Ford, who lives in the cursed house. Isabel’s touch, he discovers, is poisonous. Worse, when Marisol’s body washes up on the shore, and her little sister also vanishes, Lucas becomes a suspect in the crimes.

Isabel’s poison affects Lucas, but it’s also slowly killing her, so the two join forces to find a way to end the curse.

Her book, Mabry says, was inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” She re-told the story, adding elements of magical realism like those used by Latino author Isabel Allende, and moved the tale to Puerto Rico. The result is a haunting novel that’s so rich with atmosphere, the reader can feel the humid, tropical air, and the cold sting of the sea that took Marisol’s life—and may have taken her sister’s.

The book is filled with romance and suspense, sacrifice and longing, and myth and mystery. Eventually, Lucas becomes the keeper of the written wishes, even as he spins a wish of his own. When the book ends, some readers will still feel a need for closure, but Mabry has crafted a haunting, exciting novel – with a stunningly beautiful cover – that will resonate with readers.

(Jacket image courtesy of Algonquin Young Readers)