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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.