I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Sisters of Luna Island
by Stacy Hackney
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
on April 12, 2022
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Length: 336 pages
Ages: 8 - 12 years
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Little Women gets a Nevermoor twist in this bewitching novel about a young girl tasked to break a centuries-old curse or risk losing her beloved sisters.
Twelve-year-old Marigold Lafleur is the last of a long line or aromages: witches who blend scents into practical charms using aromagic. But ever since a terrible accident injured her father and damaged Luna Island, Marigold and her sisters, Birdie and Lou, have vowed to abandon their family legacy and mama's way of life. Shunned by their neighbors and overlooked by their parents, Marigold relies on her big sisters above all else.
But when Marigold discovers a secret curse that threatens her family, her sisters can't stop the impending danger. It's up to Marigold and her best friend, Sam, to uncover the origins of the curse and break the spell. To do so, she must learn to trust her instincts and believe in her own unique magic or risk losing her beloved sisters forever.
This is a fantastic coming-of-age story filled with magic, mayhem, and familial life lessons!
Marigold LaFleur lives with her mother and three sisters on Luna Island, as did all her ancestors before her. Like their mother, Marigold and her sisters, Birdie & Lou, are aromages and can make magic charms or potions by mixing scents and can also sense unknown things through scents around them. But using their gifts can have consequences, called vexes, and Marigold and her sisters have vowed to never use their aromagic again after the earthquake that injured their father and caused him to leave the island.
Marigold and her sisters, unfortunately, seem to always be around when something goes wrong and they are quickly ostracized by their friends and community while their mother becomes more and more withdrawn from their daily lives. When Marigold learns that their family is cursed and that she is destined to lose one of her sisters, the few people she has left, she is determined to find the source of the curse and end it once and for all, but she will learn many lessons along the way.
This is being promoted as Practical Magic meets Little Women and I have to agree, in all the best ways!
It's filled with magic and mystery, sisterly love and feuding, and a familial curse that must be broken to save a family and island community!
There are some tough life lessons in this story that can also double as CONTENT WARNINGS, such as parental separation, child abandonment, bullying, and more.
Marigold struggles with guilt over her father's new absense, her mother's withdrawal, and the building tension between her older sisters, as well as the community, all creating the perfect storm.
Of course, there is character growth and resolution that ends on a happy, positive note!
I loved that each chapter begins with a little herbal information such as "Sage leaves promote wisdom", which really sets the tone for the story ahead.