CGG Book Club: The 100 Year Miracle
Hey guys! It’s time for another instalment of my book club, with yet another awesome summer read (or two) to float your way for inspiration.
First up, the end is finally here for Sally Green’s Half Bad trilogy. The story takes place in modern day England where witches are amongst us (sound familiar?) You can check out my past reviews on the earlier books here and here to learn more, but I’ll quickly touch on the final book, Half Lost. Admittedly I don’t think the series ever fully captures the magic of the first book – the creativity of how magic operates and the society is divided is really remarkable. But the final book in the series does redeem itself, answering most of your questions, resolving all of Nathan’s axes to grind, and ending with a particularly devastating conclusion (the image on the cover is representative of that ending).
I’d perhaps recommend the series if you’re looking for a summer series that’s super quick-paced and easy to read. Sally Green does an exceptional job at writing in Nathan’s voice – it feels very fresh and unique compared to anything I’ve read before and completely captures his tortured, violent, conflicted self. It’s a darker series than you may anticipate, so I’d stick to giving it to teens and up.
Finally, onto today’s main event!
What’s the Buzz?: If you pay attention to blurbs at all, then you’ll notice this eye-catching book cover contains a pretty notable one. Gillian Flynn, author of the runaway bestseller Gone Girl, provides an enticing note that decrees this is already one of her favourite books in 2016. Not a bad endorsement if you can get it!
What’s the Plot?: The 100 Year Miracle takes place on a fictional island in the Pacific Northwest, where, every 100 years, a glowing sea anthropods make an appearance and light up the shore. Dr. Rachel Bell is a researcher on the island that has a secret purpose for being there – she’s heard that the tribesman that used to exclusively live on the island have spoken of the miracle cure these sea creatures contain, and as someone living with chronic pain, she’s obsessed with finding out if it’s real. Along the way, Rachel crosses paths with a divorced couple that owns a mansion on the beach, and through a series of events she ends up staying with them. Harry is dying of a degenerative disease, and his ex-wife Tilda has come to see him through his final days. The twosome have a long, tragic history between them, including the death of their child, which is what leads Rachel to them in the first place. As Rachel doggedly pursues her cure, Harry gets wrapped up in Rachel…or is it his deceased daughter…or is he hallucinating…while Tilda’s own life swirls out of control around them.
What Should I Know?: The 100 Year Miracle’s genre is a bit hard to define. It straddles multiple genres at once, although it’s largely rooted in literary fiction I’d say. But it’s also got a sliver of thriller to it, as Rachel is dealing with a snoopy colleague and increasingly fears for her life (whether out of paranoia or not, I won’t say). There’s also a bit of an eerie ghost story to it too, with Harry’s visions and hallucinations becoming increasingly lucid (to the point where a particular encounter results in a grisly outcome). Tilda’s story, meanwhile, really feels like that family drama you see in a lot of literary fiction. But even hers is marked by flashes of romance (with a new neighbour) and adventure (through a sailing adventure). If you want a book that’s sort of a grab bag, then this one’s got a lot to offer for genre jumpers.
How Summery Is It?: I’d give it ☀☀/4 suns for a summer reads factor. On the one hand, The 100 Year Miracle is set on an island – the small cottage community will feel familiar to those paging through this by the lake. On the flip side, it’s actually winter in the book and there are multiple passages that will make you want to wrap a warm blanket around yourself. Still, the lakeside, thriller-y setting definitely make it a light summer read.
Who Should Read This Book?: If you’re looking for a twist on any of the genres I mentioned above, you may want to pick this one up. The 100 Year Miracle sort of got something for everyone. I’d also throw in a few other recommendations – people who have dealt with loss may feel the story resonates more with them. Same with those suffering from chronic pain. Or science-y types looking for a book that borrows from reality but amps up the excitement factor.
Of course, I’ve got a copy of The 100 Year Miracle for a lucky reader. Want to read it? Here’s how to enter:
1) First & foremost: you must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then, tell me in the comments below by July 18, 2016 – why are you interested in reading The 100 Year Miracle?
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around July 19, 2016 to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Follow Raincoast Books on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about why you want to read this book! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
5) Bonus Entry #2: Add this book to your to-read list on GoodReads, and leave a link back to the page it’s on below in a separate comment to earn yourself another bonus entry.
6) Bonus Entry #3: Follow me (@cdngiftguide) on Instagram and share the cover of this book in your own post, tagging me and Raincoast Books, telling us why you’d love to read this book. Post a link to your photo in a separate comment below to earn yourself an extra entry.