Author: Alma Katsu
Published: September 6, 2011
Hardcover: 438 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute. But the minute Lanore McIlvrae--Lanny--walks into his ER, she changes his life forever. A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. He is inexplicably drawn to her . . . despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort. And as she begins to tell her story, a story of enduring love and consummate betrayal that transcends time and mortality, Luke finds himself utterly captivated. Her impassioned account begins at the turn of the nineteenth century in the same small town of St. Andrew, Maine, back when it was a Puritan settlement. Consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town's founder, Lanny will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep--an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for all eternity. And now, two centuries later, the key to her healing and her salvation lies with Dr. Luke Findley.
My Thoughts: I typically stay away from paranormal/supernatural novels, but for some reason, the synopsis of this book intrigued me enough to want to give it a try, and boy, am I glad I did! Following Lanny from her upbringing in rural Maine in the early 1800s to the present day, Alma Katsu takes her reader on a ride through the world of alchemy and history. I don't want to give too much away (mostly because that would make this one huge, long post), but it's a beautifully told story of how immortality can become a great burden instead of a release from worrying about how much time you have left on earth.
The characters are engaging and multi-faceted. Luke is man who is going through a rough time, moving back to the place where he grew up to try and sort things out after his parents' deaths. Lanny is someone who was raised with a clear definition of right and wrong, who progresses to someone trying to become an adult, to a person who knows the burden of this gift that she has been given. The characters grow throughout the story and it makes the story even richer.
For me, the best part of this whole novel was the ending. It was perfectly crafted and shows that you can't always go home. For Lanny, Luke, and Jonathan, they all realize that the home that they knew is no longer the place that it is today. Even Adair comes to see this when he looks for his family. It's a recurring theme in this book, the fact that you can't ever go home again. Katsu makes sure that the there resonates in all of her characters, even those who are not main characters. The other thing that I loved about this novel? The cover! I know, how shallow is that, but seriously, I couldn't think of a better cover for this book. It was perfect for the story without giving anything away. If you aren't a big fan of the paranormal, I would recommend this book. It's engaging enough to make you forget that you are reading about the supernatural. I hope that Alma Katsu writes more novels in the future, because after reading her first one, I can't wait to sit and devour another one.