Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” L.M. Montgomery

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler, review

1 Comment


A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who is sent a mysterious old book, inscribed with his grandmother’s name. What is the book’s connection to his family?

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks.

One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon’s grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.

The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler’s gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic.


The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler is the first book written by this author and I think it’s a wonderful start.

I enjoy books that go back and forth between past – the 1700s in this case – and the present.  I always feel like I have more insight into the lives and minds of the characters and also how the plot affects the people in the future..  I will say, though, that the book was mostly sad.  The characters didn’t seem to have much joy in their lives – and if they did, it didn’t last long.  Speaking of the characters, they are an interesting cast.  So much diversity in their stories and in the plot, too.

Erika Swyler writes beautifully.  The carnival scenes had great depth and there was great insight in the parts about tarot card readings and swimming.  It was a steady and easy read from start to finish.  And, I thought the ending was great.

*I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*


One thought on “The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler, review

  1. Hey Martina – I just finished this book and loved it! I found the story very compelling. I love genealogy too so I found Simon’s search for the details interesting. And like you I really enjoy stories the bounce back and forth between years and ages and families, especially when well done as this story was. Thanks for reviewing it!

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