The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
"One day a mysterious old book arrives on Simon Watson's doorstep on Long Island Sound. Filled with elaborate script, sketches, and whimsical flourishes, it tells of doomed lovers and generations of 'circus mermaids' who have drowned -- just like Simon's mother -- on July 24th, which is just weeks away.
As his childhood friend and fellow librarian Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister, who ran off to join the circus six years ago. Could there possibly be a curse on his family? What secrets are hidden in this fantastical book, and will those secrets doom or save the remaining Watsons?"
A note from Erika Swyler:
The myth about writers is that we're solitary creatures who hole up for weeks at a time, talking to no one as we pound away at the keyboard in misery. The myth of the reader is much the same: holed up in a cozy spot, immersed in pages, talking to no one, and preferring books over people. Lies! We love books because we deeply love people, and you and me, we're talking to each other. It's imperative that I thank you for that. Thank you.
People like to ask how I came up with this book. I have a simple, somewhat disappointing answer. I was thinking a little about circus, and about all the history between wars that never gets written. That leaves infinite potential for stories. I was thinking about how land changes over time and what that does to the people who live on it. I was thinking about the ocean and how everything that's beautiful is also a little bit frightening. I was thinking about books and libraries, and how they saved my life. I was thinking about how these ideas aren't unique; they're human. And i wanted to talk with you about them. So. I wrote The Book of Speculation so that we could talk.
I can't wait for our conversation.
With deepest thanks,