By Cynthia Bujnicki
For Zara, the new beginning she had hoped for with her family died with her sister. Months later, Zara is determined to figure out just what happened with her sister, bringing her close to David and his life. Zara is now caught up in a magical feud centuries old, one that might end hers as it ended her sisters.
What an odd but a good novel. The underlying theme follows two young adults, both searching for something. One is looking for answers into her sister’s death while the other is looking for inner peace, self-love, and a way to escape his harsh reality. These two people have been brought together by a series of circumstances that lead them to help one another on their respective journeys. It is interesting to see how their lives intermingle through such old magic and to see them grow as characters.
Laila’s death is the catalyst of the novel. Her death opens up so many questions for the reader and Zara as she enters this world of the old magic that she thought ever existed. It is interesting to get to know Laila through the opening quotes of Zara’s chapters but also through the pieces of her life she has left behind. There is something menacing lingering beneath the surface of her death, and as Zara continues to investigate the eerie tone rises, allowing the tension of the novel to bloom as the story progresses.
The dual perspectives also allow the reader to understand the characters and this world. David and Zara are both complex characters with complex family dynamics. Not only does Zara struggle with her sisters’ death, but the paranoia of her father’s infidelity keeps her from being happy. For David, he struggles with his brother’s PTSD and the change in dynamics where he is now considered the “tough” son. He is protective of his older brother and hates the shift, but he also does not want to disappoint his family more than they already feel. There is much turmoil for the characters, but together they find the peace they seek, and they grow and become better for it.
The Wickerlight is a captivating novel that moves at a steady pace as it slowly develops the tension and sets up the characters. The depth to the characters and their narratives is incredibly compelling, keeping the reader engrossed in the story. (★★★★☆)