Other Words For Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

“Pain opens the world and things come through..”

Other Words For Smoke was one of my most anticipated reads for 2019 and just wow it was everything. I read the sampler back in October and actually Sarah signed it for me when I met her at Octocon, she also did a reading from it and it was evident how much love and work went into writing this book and you could feel how excited she was by it, so I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and absorb every last bit of it.

“The house at the end of the lane burned down, and Rita Frost and her teenage ward, Bevan, were never seen again. The townspeople never learned what happened. Only Mae and her brother Rossa know the truth; they spent two summers with Rita and Bevan, two of the strangest summers of their lives… Because nothing in that house was as it seemed: a cat who was more than a cat, and a dark power called Sweet James that lurked behind the wallpaper, enthralling Bevan with whispers of neon magic and escape. And in the summer heat, Mae became equally as enthralled with Bevan. Desperately in the grips of first love, she’d give the other girl anything. A dangerous offer when all that Sweet James desired was a taste of new flesh…”

Other Words For Smoke is full of magic and feelings and touches on the rawness that Ireland still feels in the wake of the Magdalen Laundries and the fight to Repeal The Eight. The story of Deborah will really strike a chord with Irish women everywhere as it highlights a real point in history that none of us will ever forget.

The tale of the witches themselves and the power they feed on that ultimately feeds off them all is so beautifully done, the writing is so visual I could almost feel the suffocating warmth of the kitchen while the fire is stoked, touch the patterns on the wallpaper where they came to life, feel the house breathing and the magic humming in the air.

This book has a heart to it and you can feel it beating. This is a story you won’t want to miss out on. I loved it.

Many thanks to Lydia at Titan Books for sending me a copy to read and review, all opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.

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