The Book of Love The Book of Love

The Book of Love

A Novel

    • 3.7 • 21 Ratings
    • $13.99
    • $13.99

Publisher Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In the long-awaited first novel from short story virtuoso and Pulitzer Prize finalist Kelly Link, three teenagers become pawns in a supernatural power struggle.

“A dreamlike, profoundly beautiful novel [that] pushes our understanding of what a fantasy novel can be.”—Amal El-Mohtar, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

“Imagine a ring of David Mitchell and Stephen King books dancing around a fire until something new, brave, and wonderful rose up from the flames.”—Isaac Fitzgerald, Today (Spring Pick!)

The Book of Love showcases Kelly Link at the height of her powers, channeling potent magic and attuned to all varieties of love—from friendship to romance to abiding family ties—with her trademark compassion, wit, and literary derring-do. Readers will find joy (and a little terror) and an affirmation that love goes on, even when we cannot.

Late one night, Laura, Daniel, and Mo find themselves beneath the fluorescent lights of a high school classroom, almost a year after disappearing from their hometown, the small seaside community of Lovesend, Massachusetts, having long been presumed dead. Which, in fact, they are.

With them in the room is their previously unremarkable high school music teacher, who seems to know something about their disappearance—and what has brought them back again. Desperate to reclaim their lives, the three agree to the terms of the bargain their music teacher proposes. They will be given a series of magical tasks; while they undertake them, they may return to their families and friends, but they can tell no one where they’ve been. In the end, there will be winners and there will be losers.

But their resurrection has attracted the notice of other supernatural figures, all with their own agendas. As Laura, Daniel, and Mo grapple with the pieces of the lives they left behind, and Laura’s sister, Susannah, attempts to reconcile what she remembers with what she fears, these mysterious others begin to arrive, engulfing their community in danger and chaos, and it becomes imperative that the teens solve the mystery of their deaths to avert a looming disaster.

Welcome to Kelly Link’s incomparable Lovesend, where you’ll encounter love and loss, laughter and dread, magic and karaoke, and some really good pizza.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
February 13
Random House Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Prairie_Dog ,

Amazing First Novel by Noted Author

“The Book of Love” is the first novel by noted author Kelly Link. She is best known for her excellent short stories, and for being the recipient of the 2018 MacArthur “Genius” Grant. Her work is often classified as “slipstream” or magical realism. Her first novel is no exception, and what a novel it is! In paper format it is 640 pages! She even jokes about its length in the afterward.

So what is this story about? It is set in a small seaside town, and focuses on three teenaged characters: Laura, Daniel and Mo. A year ago, these three died; now they find themselves brought back to life by who they knew as their high school music teacher, Mr. Anabin. He tells them that for two of them to remain alive, they must learn magic, and do so without instruction. As the book goes along, they do just that. The narrative begins to unfold the backstory of how all this happens, and what happened before. It seems fairytale like, or mythic in its own way. But it is also completely grounded in our modern world, and features karaoke, hookup apps, jacuzzis, and a coffee shop.

This is fantasy, mystery, drama, and a touch of horror all combined into a modern story. There are many well developed supporting characters, some of whom are not what they seem. It’s a gripping narrative, and kept my attention throughout. It’s certainly different, and a refreshing sort of fantasy. We would expect no less of Kelly Link, and it will be interesting to see if she now writes another novel, or returns to the shorter works she is rightly known for. Either way, the reader will be the beneficiary of her labors.

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