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The Catalain Book of Secrets

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Publish)

The Catalain women have always lived on the margins of society, both adored and feared for their magical gifts. There is Ursula Catalain, content to concoct spells in her garden cottage and sleep with other women's husbands until the ghost of the man she murdered when she was 12 appears at her door. Jasmine, Ursula's daughter, wants no part of her family's infamous magic. Once believed to be the most powerful of the Catalains, she foreswore her gift years before to bury a shameful secret. Katrine, Jasmine's sister, banished from Faith Falls for fourteen years, made a life for herself overseas. Only when her job at London Vogue dead-ends and her marriage explodes is she able to return to Faith Falls and the Queen Anne she grew up in. There, she must face her past and claim her true Catalain power to save those she loves more than life from the dark curse her return has awoken. Told in a majestic mosaic of strong women's voices, this novel explores the generational poison of secrets untold and the burden and beauty of family.
In Faith Falls, Minn., four generations of strong Catalain women use their own form of magic to confront a family curse. With the opening line (“Ursula was twelve when her mother asked her to murder a man”), Lourey expertly concocts a Gothic fusion of long-held secrets, melancholy, and resolve. Catalain women possess special gifts: matriarch Velda charms men, daughter Ursula mixes elixirs, and her daughters, Jasmine and Katrine, cook with magic and read emotions, respectively. Jasmine’s 14-year-old daughter, Tara, sees each person’s greatest pain. In 1965, after Ursula unwittingly kills her own father, a generational curse is unleashed, dooming all Ursula’s female descendents to endure bad men. The curse begins on a spring night in which subterranean snakes rise up. In 1985 when the snakes return, 10-year-old Jasmine’s magical cooking revived a sinister evil that sent Katrine away. Now that the snakes are due again, Katrine returns home, and the ancient evil is hunting Tara. Exquisitely written in naturally flowing, expressive language, the book delves into the special relationships between sisters, and mothers and daughters. (BookLife)