Release Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Fantasy | Literary Fiction | Mystery
Annabelle Aster doesn’t bow to convention—not even that of space and time—which makes the 1890s Kansas wheat field that has appeared in her modern-day San Francisco garden easy to accept. Even more peculiar is Elsbeth, the truculent schoolmarm who sends Annie letters through the mysterious brass mailbox perched on the picket fence that now divides their two worlds.
Annie and Elsbeth’s search for an explanation to the hiccup in the universe linking their homes leads to an unsettling discovery—and potential disaster for both of them. Together they must solve the mystery of what connects them before one of them is convicted of a murder that has yet to happen…and yet somehow already did.
- The habitual state in which one makes the best of a bad situation. adj.
- Affected with, characterized by, or showing lemoncholy.
I don't want to jinx myself, but I am loving my reading streak. Once again, I am recommending another 5-star read, and this time it's by Scott Wilbanks, THE LEMONCHOLY LIFE OF ANNIE ASTER. It's a mash-up of genres, it's a time travel novel that's more literary fiction than sci-fi, and as a bonus, we have a murder mystery to solve.
THE LEMONCHOLY LIFE OF ANNIE ASTER cannot be simpler despite it's rather complex premise. A door that's a portal, being neighbors with someone who not only lived a century ago, but was from a different state, not to mention stopping the murder of a 19th century illusionist. Once the pieces were laid out, it was quite easy to figure out how everything is connected.
But connecting these dots are not the main objective of SWilbanks brilliantly told tale. Rather the genius lies in the HOWS. Like how did Elsbeth and Annie became neighbors? How are they connected? How are Annie and Elsbeth going to stop the murder? How are they going to bring the real perps to justice?
And oh, how SWilbanks answered those questions! I only have superlatives to describe THE LEMONCHOLY LIFE OF ANNIE ASTER.
- I loved how the time travel aspect was highlighted, but not hifalutin so that non-sci-fi readers won't be overwhelmed by the semantics of it.
- I loved Annie's obsession with the Victorian era and Elsbeth's penchant for grammar and language. The supporting cast are wonderful as wel: Annie's best friend, Christian, is representative of everything that is good and innocent in this novel; the mystery man, Edmund is perplexing but in a good way; the street urchin Cap'n was so endearing I want to adopt her; and even the villain wasn't spared of SWilbanks' cleverness for he is a wicked and curious antagonist.
- I loved how the murder-mystery was plotted and resolved, it was nothing short of satisfying.
- I loved how this novel is also a story about friendships and it was the kind that touched and made me cry.
- I loved how Annie and Eslbeth inspired me to be lemoncholy, so much so that I think I will be borrowing Mr. Wilbanks term until my friends are sick and tired of it.
- Oh and THE LEMONCHOLY LIFE OF ANNIE ASTER ended with a heartwarming HEA too!
THE LEMONCHOLY LIFE OF ANNIE ASTER is one of, if not the best, Grandfather Paradox novel I've read in a long time. The story is achingly beautiful and very, very entertaining, it sure made me crave for a similar novel to read. I tried to look for an excerpt to share, I wasn't able to find one, so do yourselves a favor, head on to Goodreads or Amazon, read a sample, and take it from there.