In this segment, I like to share spoiler-free notable quotables on books I am loving the hell out of. No summaries: I find them boring to read and boring to write. Instead, I lovingly serve you a sampling from a great new book in hopes that I can get you as psyched about it as I am.
I am coo-coo bananas for this book and am crazy bummed that I’m going to have to wait until September of this year to start book-talking The Diviners to teens and adults. Not to mention that I’m going to have to wait from now until my hair falls out to read the sequel. Libba Bray’s created a book you want to sink your teeth into, not only so you can devour it, but so that you can make sure no one yanks it from your grip. If you’re lucky enough to have an ARC of this, stop waiting to read it. Yes, it’s nearly 600 pages, but like any good book, you’ll wish it were longer.
Evie let the wind kiss her cheeks. She opened her arms as if to embrace Manhattan. Starting tomorrow, she told herself, things would be different. There would be shopping, a picture show with Mabel. On Saturday, they could take the subway out to Coney Island, dip their toes in the Atlantic, and ride the Thunderbolt roller coaster. In the evening, she’d find a party and dance as if there were no dead brothers or terrible dreams. It was all going to be the berries.
Evie brought her arms back to hug herself. She rubbed her nose on her sleeve and crooned in a soft voice. “The city’s bustle cannot destroy the dreams of a girl and a boy/I’ll turn Manhattan into an isle of joy.”
The train rattled past, startling the pigeon into flight.
In the blazing canyons of brick and neon, the city carried on. People met and parted, hurried and idled. Subways rumbled. Car horns bleated. Traffic light cycled from green to yellow to red and back again.
In Harlem, Blind Bill Johnson lay on his cot in the long room of other cots inside the YMCA and waited on sleep. It was warm in the room, like the press of sun on the back of his neck when he used to work the cotton fields back in Mississippi. He could see that butter-thin sun of memory now, the way it had broken through rain clouds and glinted off the dark car that carried the shadow men.
Mabel Rose read Tolstoy by lamplight and tried to block out the sound of her parents’ arguing in the other room. At last, she rolled onto her back, staring up at the ceiling and imagining that a few floors above, Jericho lay in his bed, also awake, thinking only of her.
In the African graveyard, leaves scuttled across long-quiet graves and onto the lawn of the house on the hill. The broken angel statue did not feel the cool of the long shadow passing over the yard. Its sightless eyes took no notice of the stranger wiping the blood from his hands as he took in the majesty of the starry sky. And its deaf ears did not hear the chilling whistle of the tune from long ago as it idled briefly on the wind before being lost to the frantic, yearning jazz of the city.
Miss Addie stood at her large bay window looking out at the Central Park Reservoir and Belvedere Castle, bathed in the slightly orange glow of the moon. She rocked gently on her heels and sang a song she had known since childhood.
“Tea’s almost ready,” Miss Lillian said, joining her at the window. “Ah. Look how the moon hits the Belvedere. Beautiful.”
“Indeed.” Miss Addie put a hand to the glass, as if she could hold the castle in her palm. “Do you feel the change, sister?”
Miss Lillian nodded solemly. “Yes, sister.”
“They’re coming.” Miss Addie turned her eyes back to the park, keeping watch over the night until the moon paled against the early dawn sky and the untouched tea had gone ice-cold in its cup.
~~The Diviners by Libba Bray, pgs. 85-87
The Diviners is lux and decadent and fertile and dark, just like I like my books. Expect a Hunger Games-style frenzy over this book, so read it as soon as possible.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid