The White Forest

Adam McOmber. Touchstone, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-6425-6
A young woman with the ability to sense the souls of inanimate objects and view mystical realms searches for her place in 19th-century England in this dark and gothic debut. Ever since the unexplained death of her mother, Jane Silverlake has had the ability to see “beyond the rational” into “a universe of animate space concealed within the inanimate.” As she reaches adulthood, her only friends are Madeline Lee, shunned by society because of her father’s unseemly daguerreotypes of naked women, and Nathan Ashe, the man they both love. Nathan is far more intrigued—actually, obsessed—by Jane’s ability to touch the mystical realm he calls the Empyrean. When Nathan disappears while attending a séance run by notorious spiritualist Ariston Day, Jane realizes she must come to terms with her own mysterious talents in order to save him. McOmber’s debut is deliberately written and heavy with atmosphere, evoking the dark weight of doomed love as well as the spiritualist craze that fascinated so many Victorians. Agent: Eleanor Jackson at Markson Thoma. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/02/2012
Release date: 09/11/2012
Genre: Fiction
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