The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane

Fiction - Fantasy - General
373 Pages
Reviewed on 11/04/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Drea Damara was born in Illinois where she grew up working on her family's farm. Raised in a home of seven with one television, she spent much of her time in the fifty acres of woods on her family's property or reading. Damara began to write poetry in her early teens and saw her first works published at nineteen. She put writing aside to join the Army and later returned to the Middle East conducting similar work as a civilian. Damara is the author of The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane, a crossover fantasy.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane is a fantasy written by Drea Damara. Sarah Allister runs the family bookshop on Blinney Lane in Salem, Mass. It’s her whole life, literally, as she can never leave the small cobble-stoned street due to an ancient curse. When young Agatha Blinney was tortured and burned hundreds of years ago as a witch, she cursed the townspeople. One family member from each generation bears scars like those she suffered, scars which cause unbearable pain if they leave the street. Sarah’s upset when she gets word from her brother Richard that her nephew Ricky would be spending the summer with her. Would he be the next Allister to fall under the Blinney curse? And how would she keep him unaware of the very peculiar place where he would be staying?

Drea Damara’s literary fantasy, The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane, is exciting and very enjoyable. The Allister family has access to a marvelous world, Farwin Woods, complete with amazing animals and lush foliage; a far cry from the small and claustrophobic street where the curse keeps one of them imprisoned for life. Damara paints a vivid other-world both as it appears at the time of Ricky’s visit to Blinney Lane, and as it was when last Sarah and her brother Richard visited on their summer vacation years before. Damara’s characters are real and complex, from the hunky Henry to the dowdy Mary with her colonial dresses. While this is a fantasy, it’s also a marvelous coming of age story as Ricky transforms from an insulated and self-centered kid into a self-sacrificing and compassionate young man. I’m hoping that Damara has more fantasy adventures planned in the Lands of Farwin Wood as I’m looking forward to visiting there again soon. The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane is highly recommended.

Kim Anisi

Have you ever wished that you could live in one of your favorite books? After reading The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane by Drea Damara you might reconsider that wish. There is a curse on Blinney Lane, and at least one member of each of the families who live there bear a mark that prevents them from ever leaving the little street. Sarah is one who wears a mark, and she owns a book shop that is the home of some rather special books, most notably a book that draws you into its world when you fall asleep next to it. Sarah and her brother Richard enjoyed going into this world until something terrible happened inside the book, and they never returned. Sarah thought she would never have to enter the book again, but it all changes when her brother sends his son Ricky over to Sarah for three months. And of course the little trouble maker has nothing better to do than lend that one book (even though it is locked away!) to Shelby. And she falls asleep next to it. What will happen when Sarah is forced to enter the world of the book again? And can she convince Ricky that she is not a total nut case when she tells him about why lending that book was a big mistake?

The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane by Drea Damara was a very entertaining read that makes you think twice about wanting to live in the fictional worlds you love so much (well, I STILL would love to live in Middle Earth though). It is a wonderfully exciting story with interesting characters. It also shows you how much you can influence a different world with your decisions, and how important it is to think about what you are doing instead of just selfishly acting on your desires. The characters of Blinney Lane develop throughout the story, especially Ricky, who turns from thieving teenager into a more responsible person. It is a very imaginative story set in two interesting worlds.

Stephanie Smith

The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane by Drea Damara is a book about a collection of people in Salem who are cursed. Long ago, during the Salem witch hysteria, the small community around this lane dragged a woman to the community's tree, whipped her back until it bled, then hanged her. As she was dying, she cursed the inhabitants. Now one member of each generation of the original families is cursed with scars from some aspect of the woman's torture. That family member cannot leave Blinney Lane, as the community is now called, without suffering intense and agonizing pain in those scars, forcing them home again. The stores and area around them have not changed much since the hanging of the witch, so tourists frequent the shops and give the captive shop owners a living.

I enjoyed The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane. Drea Damara has deftly crafted an alternate world with a curse that behaves strangely yet includes the modern world in the book. There are many surprises in this alternate world but they all made sense to me. The world is internally consistent as well. That made a big difference in my enjoyment of the book. While the book is long at 373 pages, it did not seem too long. I enjoyed the entire book and think it ended where it needed to, not 100 pages too late. Damara's alternate world in modern Salem was an interesting and enjoyable venue for the action of this book and I am glad I read it. I give it four stars overall.