Rated Reads

The Book of Speculation

by Erika Swyler

Rated: High

After a crazy summer, I’m so glad things have settled down enough for some good reading and reviewing again! My latest read had a cover that immediately drew me in.

The Book of Speculation centers on Simon, a librarian, who notices something strange: the women in his family all seem to tragically drown on the same date. Simon comes from a family of “mermaids” — circus performers whose trick is holding their breath for an exceptionally long time. Simon realizes that if his family’s curse isn’t broken soon, his sister Enola could be its next victim.

The story itself is intriguing, if not disjointed at times. It alternates between two storylines — one that takes place in the present with Simon, and another that occurs hundreds of years earlier during the 18th century. The most interesting aspect of the novel for me was trying to piece together how the two storylines connected. However, the swearing in this book was extremely distracting. There are countless f-bombs and other instances of very strong language that I felt detracted from otherwise delicate sentiments about the importance of family and personal relationships.

Overall, I’d say I enjoyed The Book of Speculation enough, but due to the aforementioned concern, had it not been a Netgalley find I don’t think I would have finished it.

Rated: High for numerous uses of the f-word and other strong language, several mentions of sex, description of a character’s private parts in a non-sexual context, some violence.

— Reviewed by Brittany Christenson

Brittany Christenson is a full-time wife and mom. She lives in Central California and, when the mood strikes, updates her personal book blog, The Read Room.

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The Book of Speculation