Cover illustration by Magdalena Korzeniewska.
I have long admired the writing skill of Peter S. Beagle, and this new novel is a prime example.
Abe is an elderly writer living on Gardner Island in Puget Sound, Washington. He’s in a long-term serious relationship with Joanna, an aging stewardess, who keeps her own apartment on the mainland when not with Abe. Joanna’s daughter Lily is single, and can’t seem to hold on to a relationship, though she’s tried with many women. All three of their lives, and the very world around them, are changed by the arrival of Lioness Lazos to Gardner Island. Lioness takes a waitress job at the local diner where Abe, Joanna and Lily are all struck by her timeless beauty, her sweet yet mysterious ways, and the sudden panic attacks that bring her to live in Abe’s garage. Strange weather has arrived with Lioness that brings an early spring to the island, one that never seems to leave. Lioness has dark secrets, and is being sought by powerful beings who know her true story. It’s one that will draw Abe, Joanna and Lily into the world of myth and magic slowly and surely, and change all of them forever.
If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman’s novels, Beagle is an author you should explore, and this is a good place to start. If you’re already a Beagle fan, don’t miss this one.