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November 30, 2013

Book Review - Part of the Spell by Rachel Heath

"A small quiet town sits in a slight valley, encircled by barely-hills and surrounded by the ancient fields and trees of Essex." The novel opens with a description of the town which is as much a player as any of its inhabitants. Why are the people here? Are they happy to stay where they have always lived or have they arrived on the run from somewhere else? "News of Sheila Buttle's disappearance spread across the town, carried by a distinct but indolent autumnal breeze. Along the pavements, across the rooftops, weaving amongst the queue at the butcher's or between two neighbours on a street corner. It spread aimlessly, without purpose, or force, without a headwind. Nothing like a forest fire, without heat or urgency. Stealing through an open bedroom window, whispering around the ankles of parents at the school gates, wafting into the cafĂ© in the market square, cooling cups of tea…When people heard the news they wondered what it might mean, turned over in their minds how such a thing could happen. They warded off the darker ideas but the urge to speculate and to gossip lingered." I enjoyed this book very much, loving particularly how the people relate to their town and the gorgeous descriptive passages. Wendy

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