September 6, 2016

Loved It: The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper

Series: Standalone
Format: eGalley
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Alonquin Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Literary Fiction 

Sisters Rose and Lily Martin were inseparable when they were kids. As adults, they've been estranged for years, until circumstances force them to come together to protect Rose's daughter. Ten-year-old Antoinette has a severe form of autism that requires constant care and attention. She has never spoken a word, but she has a powerful gift that others would give anything to harness: she can heal things with her touch. She brings wilted flowers back to life, makes a neighbor's tremors disappear, changes the normal course of nature on the Kentucky flower farm where she and her mother live.

Antoinette's gift, though, puts her own life in danger, as each healing comes with an increasingly deadly price. As Rose—the center of her daughter's life—struggles with her own failing health, and Lily confronts her anguished past, they, and the men who love them, come to realize the sacrifices that must be made to keep this very special child safe.

Written with great heart and a deep understanding of what it feels like to be “different,” The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin is a novel about what it means to be family, and about the lengths to which people will go to protect the ones they love.

THE PECULIAR MIRACLES OF ANTOINETTE MARTIN by Stephanie Knipper is mainly a story about family, homecoming, with a dash of magic realism. It's a picturesque story about sisters and how the birth of Antoinette change the whole dynamic between them. Although my story is very different from Lucy and Rose's, I immediately connected to the storyline because I had my son very young and my sister was very close to us mostly because of how close in age we all are. 

Here are my highlights:

  • THE PECULIAR MIRACLES OF ANTOINETTE MARTIN is an easy read. SKnipper painted pretty scenes, cut through the prose, and shined the spotlight on the emotional landscape of the story. It's very poignant and even touching on some parts. 

  • Antoinette's autism is very severe, there are a few chapters told from her POV and you can feel her frustration. I'm not very familiar with autism so I can't say if SKnipper's depiction is accurate or realistic, I was taken by Antoinette though and immediately felt empathy for her situation. 

  • Though the backstory of each relationship is told, I felt like it skimmed the surface. Like a lot of things and emotions were taken for granted and no hashing out happened to justify the emotional closures and resolutions that occured in the end. 

  • There's a slight slant to magic realism via Antoinette's gift but it didn't drive the plot. Lily and Rose's relationship is the focus more than anything else.

I breezed through THE PECULIAR MIRACLES OF ANTOINETTE MARTIN, I love all the extras like simplified science-y talks, trivia about the meaning of flowers, and a lot of food porn! And even if I wanted SKnipper to have dug deep in terms of the relationships, I liked how things flowed between all the characters. There's kinship and definitely love between all of them which made for a few touching scenes. THE PECULIAR MIRACLES OF ANTOINETTE MARTIN is a good literary fiction tale, it's easy and touching, definitely something you'd want to read with your own sister or bestie.

Talk Supe


  1. Sounds good, even if I like my magical realism to be stronger

  2. I keep telling myself I will read something in this genre, it looks like this would be a great place to start. Wonderful review!

  3. I like the sound of this one, Braine. Even if some elements were glossed over, it seems to have some depth. And being familiar with Autism, I'm always interested to see how it's portrayed in literature. I'm glad you had a great read in this one. <3

  4. Sounds like an interesting book for those who like this type of read.

  5. Great review Braine and right up my alley, reminds me of Sarah Addison Allen

  6. I love magical realism and stories that focus on family bonds...this sounds like a winner!

  7. Oh neat! I love that there's a character like Antoinette. I don't read enough magical realism.

  8. Magic Realism is awesome. I have never heard of this book. Off to the library list to add to it :)

  9. Oh I think I would enjoy both the character and the elements of this book! Great find!

  10. Sounds like an interesting read with the focus on the two sister and the kid with a magical gift that bring them together again. I like how you say the relationship between the sisters carry the story and the touch of magical realism sounds like a nice addition to the story. Great review!

  11. Wow, a POV from an Autistic person. Very interesting.


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