Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials in this haunting story about three sisters on a quest for revenge - and how love may be the only thing powerful enough to stop them.
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Two centuries ago, in the small, isolated town, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return from the depths, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them down to their watery deaths.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into or the fact that his arrival will change everything...
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.
This lyrical and foreboding debut takes place in the long-cursed coastal town of Sparrow, Ore., where, in 1822, the townspeople condemned the three Swan sisters for being witches and drowned them in the harbor. Every June 1st, the sisters return, staying until midnight of the summer solstice, stealing the bodies of three girls, and then enticing boys into the water to drown. In the present day, 17-year-old Penny Talbot usually avoids the eerie Swan season kick-off party, but this year, her best friend convinces her to go. There, she meets Bo Carter and eventually offers to let him stay and work on Lumiere Island, a decaying place where she and her mom live, where he might be safe. Death lurks everywhere, though, as the Swan sisters begin their yearly revenge killings. Effective flashback chapters reveal the sisters' backstory, and while perceptive readers may anticipate the story's outcomes, Ernshaw creates an intriguing reality in which the supernatural coexists with the mundane elements of small-town life. Balancing delicate emotion and authentic suspense, the hypnotic prose pulls readers into the question of how, or if, the curse of the sisters can be broken. Ages 14-up.