cover image The Catalain Book of Secrets

The Catalain Book of Secrets

Jessica Lourey. Toadhouse, $14.99 ISBN 978-0-9908342-1-2

In Faith Falls, Minn., four generations of strong Catalain women use their own form of magic to confront a family curse. With the opening line (“Ursula was twelve when her mother asked her to murder a man”), Lourey expertly concocts a Gothic fusion of long-held secrets, melancholy, and resolve. Catalain women possess special gifts: matriarch Velda charms men, daughter Ursula mixes elixirs, and her daughters, Jasmine and Katrine, cook with magic and read emotions, respectively. Jasmine’s 14-year-old daughter, Tara, sees each person’s greatest pain. In 1965, after Ursula unwittingly kills her own father, a generational curse is unleashed, dooming all Ursula’s female descendents to endure bad men. The curse begins on a spring night in which subterranean snakes rise up. In 1985 when the snakes return, 10-year-old Jasmine’s magical cooking revived a sinister evil that sent Katrine away. Now that the snakes are due again, Katrine returns home, and the ancient evil is hunting Tara. Exquisitely written in naturally flowing, expressive language, the book delves into the special relationships between sisters, and mothers and daughters. (BookLife)