In the small mountain town of Amorea, it’s stretching toward autumn of 1954. The memories of a world at war are fading in the face of a prosperous future. Doors are left unlocked at night, and neighbors are always there to give each other a helping hand.
The people here know certain things as fact:
Amorea is the best little town there is.
The only good Commie is a dead Commie.
The Women’s Club of Amorea runs the town with an immaculately gloved fist.
And bookstore owner Mike Frazier loves that boy down at the diner, Sean Mellgard. Why they haven’t gotten their acts together is anybody’s guess. It may be the world’s longest courtship, but no one can deny the way they look at each other.
Slow and steady wins the race, or so they say.
But something’s wrong with Mike. He hears voices in his house late at night. There are shadows crawling along the walls, and great clouds of birds overhead that only he can see.
Something’s happening in Amorea. And Mike will do whatever he can to keep the man he loves.
Have you ever tried to think of a word that you know, but can't quite find in your brain? How you can almost catch it, but it's just out of reach? That feeling describes Murmuration almost perfectly.
Murmuration is an...odd book. Yeah, odd. I have no idea how to review it without spoiling anything! And that is bad, because I never ever want to spoil the plot for other readers. But what can I say without giving anything away? As I read, I jotted down notes about what I thought was going on, not that I was going to use any of the notes in my review. I was merely trying to keep track of a moving target. And it was tough. So tough. Though I will say that one of my two hypothesis was nearly spot on correct.
Let's see. When I started reading Murmuration, I was thinking...creepy. Not ghost story creepy, or undead creepy, but creepy, just the same. This is not a dark story. It's not a scary story. But you'll find from the first page onward that something. Just. Isn't. Right. So, creepy. And ominous. And more than a little unsettling.
And all through Murmuration, Mike is trying to figure things out, too. He has weird dreams and odd thoughts, that he doesn't understand. But the uneasiness comes and goes. Until it just won't go away. And I felt like that for much of the book, too.
TJ said this was his most romantic story to date. Hmmm, I'm not sure I agree. Murmuration was sentimental, but I didn't really feel the romance. There was sweetness, though, I cannot deny. And I liked it. Mostly. It's also the strangest book I've read by TJ, and I think that says a lot. It left me feeling very unsettled. And I can't tell you why.
Should you read it? If you're a fan of TJ's writing, I'd say definitely, yes. Murmuration does not contain TJ's trademark humor, but his very vivid imagination is definitely there. What it must be like inside his brain…. So, if you're in the mood for something a bit different, do give Murmuration a shot.
ARC of Murmuration was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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