cover image The Secret Language of Stones

The Secret Language of Stones

M.J. Rose. Atria, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4767-7809-9

During the summer of 1918, Opaline Duplessi, the narrator of bestseller Rose's mesmerizing sequel to 2015's The Witch of Painted Sorrows, is working as a jeweler in Paris's Palais Royal. Opaline is skilled at her art, and she also has an unusual ability: "to receive messages that were inaudible and invisible to others" through handling stones. That gift enables her to communicate with the dead, and is a talent much in demand by those grieving for soldiers lost in combat. One such mourner, Denise Alouette, approaches her about her late son, Jean Luc For%C3%AAt, who was a popular newspaper columnist and crusader for the arts. After being given a charm connected with Jean Luc--a crystal egg containing one of his hairs--Opaline begins to hear a voice that seems to be talking with her directly. Meanwhile, Opaline is also caught up in intrigues involving Russian %C3%A9migr%C3%A9s and the fate of the Romanovs. The complex protagonist and evocative prose will appeal even to readers who don't as a rule enjoy the paranormal. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (July)