A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON by Samantha Mabry

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Lucas has always been an outsider to San Juan: the rich white developer’s kid who only visits in the summers.  But all his life he has soaked up the culture, especially the stories the old women tell about the scientist’s house and the supposed witch-girl who lives there.  As Lucas gets older, the stories begin to seem less real.  Until the summer that the island girls begin to disappear and everything leads Lucas back to the old house and the mysterious girl shrouded in the trees.

A poetic literary thriller nestled somewhere between realistic and science fiction, this novel gripped me from the start.  I actually read it in one sitting, a rare occurrence for me.  Mabry immerses readers in a vivid setting of blended reality and folklore as Lucas struggles to define himself, caught between two worlds and a disappointing relationship with his father.  One of the best written books I’ve read this year and a stunning debut novel.  I highly recommend it!

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