The Uncertain Places

book cover The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein This book comes with great recommendations – blurbs by de Lint, Beagle, Le Guin, and more. It’s the 1970s in Berkley, a great time to be in college. Our narrator Will’s best friend Ben brings Will to his girlfriend’s house with him. The Feierabend family – Maddie and her sisters Livvy and Rose – live with their mother, Sylvia, in a crazy house with large and stylistically incompatible sections added on to each other. Will and Livvy fall in love, and only after things are serious between them does Will realize that the strange things that happen in and around the house are real and dangerous. A long-ago Feierabend made a bargain with the Fae – eternal prosperity for the family in exchange for seven years of the life of a daughter in each generation. The Faerie here are definitely the ambiguous, untrustworthy kind, neither all good nor all bad. When Livvy falls asleep and can’t be woken up, Will is the only one willing to do whatever it takes to get her back, even if it means confronting the Queen of Faerie. That could be the end of a satisfying story right there, but, like Into the Woods, it goes on from there. Does Livvy’s family really want to end the curse? How does one partner rescuing another change the dynamic of their relationship? How much are people willing to do for Luck, and is it worth having? I found myself looking for my parents in Will and Livvy, a young couple in college in close to the same era, which was an extra level of interest for me. But there is plenty to recommend the book without that hook, with familiar plot elements twisted together into something new, unexpected, both beautiful and frightening.

Originally posted at .

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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