cover image Here in Avalon

Here in Avalon

Tara Isabella Burton. Simon and Schuster, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982170-09-7

Adeptly warping traditional fairy tropes, Burton (The World Cannot Give) weaves a lush ode to searching for the magic in life. Thanks to a neglectful mother, sisters Rose and Cecilia all but raised themselves in New York City. Whereas flighty Cecilia took off to search for love and adventure on her 18th birthday, Rose stayed put, building a stable life that includes a good job as a coder and a strong, loving relationship with Caleb, her boyfriend of five years. Now Cecilia’s back in town, and though Rose loves her sister deeply, years of witnessing Cecilia drift, coupled with the criticism of her sister she’s heard from others, has Rose questioning Cecilia’s place in her life. Then Cecilia begins to act even more erratically, talking about fairies and a mysterious, possibly mystical cabaret called Avalon before disappearing. Now Rose must choose whether to follow the magic and bring her sister home or remain rooted in the real world. Dreams and desires play a central role in this modern-day hero’s journey as the author teasingly unspools the truth about Avalon, all the while raising poignant questions about happiness, need, and personal growth, and leading readers to a startling and satisfying conclusion. This is a treat. Agent: Emma Parry, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc.(Jan.)