The Silver Bough
by Lisa Tuttle
What is it about:
Nestled on the coast of Scotland, Appleton was once famous for its apples. Now, though the orchards are long gone, locals still dream of the town’s glory days, when an Apple Queen was crowned at the annual fair and good luck seemed a way of life. And outsiders are still drawn to the charming village, including three very different American women.
Enchanted by Appleton’s famously ornate, gold-domed library, divorcée Kathleen Mullaroy has left her cosmopolitan job to start anew as the town’s head librarian. Widowed Nell Westray hopes for a quiet life of gardening in the place where she and her husband spent their happiest moments. And young Ashley Kaldis has come to find her roots, and learns that the town’s fortunes turned when her grandmother was crowned Apple Queen–then mysteriously disappeared.
When a sudden landslide cuts Appleton off from the wider world–and the usual constraints of reality–the village reveals itself to be an extraordinary place, inhabited by legendary beings, secret rooms, and the blossoming of a rare fruit not seen in decades. Most unexpected is a handsome stranger who will draw all three women into an Otherworld in which luck and love will return to Appleton–if only one of them will believe.
What did I think of it:
This is a beautiful read.
This story starts out as if it's a contemporary tale, but slowly more and more magical elements appear, until at one point I was just as creeped out as one of the lead characters by the strange things that happened.
The story switches between several viewpoint characters, and I liked most of them. The one character I couldn't relate with was Ashley, she was too self centered and hostile at times. I think Nell was my favorite character. She's a difficult person, but I could understand why she acted like she did.
The setting is beautiful and over the course of the story you get more and more background information, in the form of letters and newspaper articles, about Appleton, which helps with understanding what's happening. Usually I don't much like the inclusion of newspaper articles and such, but in this story it fits and adds to the atmosphere.
All in all this is an intense and beautiful story. I will certainly investigate what other books Tuttle has written, and this book will be added to my keeper shelves.
Why should you read it:
It's a magical Contemporary Fantasy read.