It’s probably no surprise that one of my favorite literary styles is magical realism. And there’s no one doing it better right now than Anna-Marie McLemore. Her debut novel, The Weight of Feathers, is nothing short of stunning. Lyrical, magical, and romantic, this book hooked me from page one. The story follows two rival families, the Palomas and the Corbeaus, as their feud comes to a head in a small town when they each set up to put on their magical shows: the Palomas donning colorful mermaid tails and performing intricate water dances below the river’s surface, and the Corbeaus tying artfully crafted wings to their backs and walking tree branches like circus high wires.
When Lace Paloma meets Cluck Corbeau as a disaster throws the town into chaos, they do the unthinkable. They touch. And the forbidden contact brands a feather into Lace’s skin, giving her no choice but to leave her family and go back to the Corbeau camp with Cluck to find a way to undo it before she loses her own magic and her family. As everything they’ve been told about each other’s families starts to unravel, they have to decide where their hearts really lie.
With gorgeous writing and visceral imagery that makes this story come so vividly alive, The Weight of Feathers is a book I couldn’t help but fall in love with.
Susan Bishop Crispell earned a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Born and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, she now lives twenty minutes from the beach in North Carolina with her husband and their literary-named cat. She is very fond of pie and is always on the lookout for hints of magic in the real world. She is the author of THE SECRET INGREDIENT OF WISHES (2016) and DREAMING IN CHOCOLATE (2018).