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Read advance reader review of The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler, page 2 of 6

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The Book of Speculation

by Erika Swyler

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler X
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
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  • Published Jun 2015
    352 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Page 2 of 6
There are currently 36 member reviews
for The Book of Speculation
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  • Gail B. (Albuquerque, NM)
    A Magical Book of Speculation
    A water-damaged journal, two hundred years old, appears on the doorstep of research librarian Simon Watson as the anniversary of his mother's suicide approaches. The log of a traveling carnival, complete with Wild Boy, a beautiful mermaid, a Russian fortune teller -- a curse? Thus begins a story that will take your breath away. I felt the magic of the book from the start. Some books are like that. Not many. Just a special few. Thank you, Erika Swyler, for The Book of Speculation.
  • Sherilyn R. (Bountiful, UT)
    A book lovers dream
    This book is MAGIC! I was under its spell from the very first page. The author stated that "We carry our families like anchors, rooting us in storms making sure we never drift far from where and who we are." A very deft way to summarize the book. Fun and Hypnotic. The characters were truly delightful! Sorry to have it end. Would love to read another book maybe focused on Enola and Doyle!
  • Annie P. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
    A Terrific Tale!
    The Book of Speculation is a book full of surprises! There are more twists and turns, more unexpected moments, than a person can keep up with. But, you will keep reading and turning the pages faster and faster as you follow the stories that twine and intermingle, pull apart and go off in unexpected directions. You will root for Amos and Simon, and want to yell at them not to be so bullheaded. The characters, odd as fairy tale gremlins at first, are so alive, so quirky but tender, trying only to protect themselves and the ones they love, and to find out the true story of the family. The situations that are stopping points in this journey pull us forward to see what can possibly happen next. Even after I finished this book, I kept turning back to read random pages, just because I didn't want it to end. The ending was satisfactory; I just didn't want the story to end! Thank you, Erika Swyler, for a tale well-told!
  • Christopher R. (Brooklyn, NY)
    A book of speculative fiction
    I had the great pleasure of receiving THE BOOK OF SPECULATION by Erika Swyler from Bookbrowse. From the beginning, the author uses the split narrative to perfection. The protagonist receives a book that may be part of a curse that involves his family. So we get his story and that of the book he comes across. The mystery of the book is slowly revealed and we get a race to solve it before time runs out and his family is made to suffer. This was a joy to read throughout and the circus setting was refreshingly depicted. I highly recommend this novel.
  • Lauren T. (Orlando, FL)
    The book of speculation by Erika Swyler
    As a retired librarian, I have always loved books about books and librarians. That's what made me want to read this book. A book is at the center of this novel, but there is so much more. The author has certainly done her homework, and the history of carnivals has obviously been well researched. The reader slips easily into the atmosphere of the carnival at the very beginning of its existence in America hundreds of years ago, and slips just as easily back to the present in alternating chapters. The characters come alive, with the strengths and flaws of real people. I was caught up in this weaving together of two stories from the very beginning and found it impossible to guess what would happen at the end. The book of speculation is a wonderful debut. I hope to see more from Ms. Swyler.
  • Ruthie A. (Summit, NJ)
    Intriguing, Mesmerizing Mystery!
    This is a fast paced debut novel that grabs the reader and takes them on a wild ride. A mystery, told with dual narratives alternating between Simon - a librarian in the present day, and Amos, a mute born in 1780, the story literally starts on the edge of a cliff. An antique book may hold the key to a family mystery and we follow along as secrets are revealed.

    If reading about a traveling circus, a family curse, mermaids, an epic love story (or two), biblical storms, tattooed jugglers, antique books, libraries, tarot cards, family ancestry, the ocean, the 1700's - if any of this intrigues, then you will love this book. I could not put it down!

    Swyler is a debut author and she has woven an intriguing tale with rich, quirky characters and brilliant descriptions. Her research shows and enhances the story. A magical read!
  • Dorothy C. (Bismarck, ND)
    Book of Speculation
    What a fantastic book. This is not the kind of book I normally read, but as I got into the book I could not put it down. I like the way the author went between the present and the past , one chapter in the present and one in the past ,so it was easy to follow. It was interesting how in the end all the characters had something in common, they all had some connection to the book. I do not belong to a book club, but this would be a good book for a book club to read.

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