Bessie Henderson deals with her divorce by pulling up stakes to travel wherever the wind takes her. She finds herself in Virginia’s idyllic Shenandoah Valley, where she falls in love with the town of Augusta and buys a Victorian house. Her newly simplified life screeches to a halt, however, when she discovers the cellar harbors a badly wounded fugitive named Robin Goodfellow, a physical manifestation of the planet’s energy who needs Bessie’s help for a ritual intended to prevent the Earth’s slow destruction. Robin’s ancient enemy has taken the form of Augusta’s mayor, who has millennia of practice killing humans and demigods alike. The best part of Warner’s easy-paced, almost pastoral tale is the friction between Bessie’s attraction to Robin, her longing to believe in magic, and her fear of trusting again—all of which run deep. This is a world-shattering crisis acted out in small scale, with a subtle appeal to romantic fantasy. (Nov.)
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