What a delightful book event with Oxford Exchange Bookstore about Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young.
It was interesting how such a simple book could bring about so many different layers of conversations. One of the layers we went into was the authenticity of a towns and how the author captured that in many areas. Some of the areas she captured that were when it came to tourists, the orchard, relationships, meetings, and the want for things to stay the same.
One of the ways that things in the real world may stay the same when it comes to small towns, like it did in this book, is when someone is around the people they grew up with and then fall back into that mindset. Which may be a younger aged mindset. Then comes the question of if you grow up with those people all around you, do you still fall into that mindset sometimes, do you ever really grow up, or do you need space in order for nostalgia to grasp you and turn you young again?
Everyone agreed that this book was a dark cozy mystery, like a campfire story. And everyone loved the vibes. Many expected more magic and kept trying to find it within the pages, while others enjoyed the light magic and undercurrent of it, saying that it felt more real that way.
I feel like the most interesting conversation that was had was about how to differentiate YA versus Adult fiction. Many agreed that this book felt like a YA read, but it was a YA author’s first Adult novel. Was the YA-like-feel in the way the book was plotted out and in how the author held the hands of the readers through the mystery? Or was it because it was in the minds of characters who were reliving the past, a period when they were teens? Or was it because of the pacing, the themes or lack thereof, the topics, or the relationships? What makes an adult read an adult read, besides the main character in the present timeline’s age?
All very interesting questions worth hours long of conversation.