This book was a complete mystery to me before reading it since I didn't read the summary at all. I regret nothing. I found it very mysterious the whole way through.
An amazon summary, "Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.
An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love." AMAZON LINK OF I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE READ THIS BEFORE I READ THE BOOK MAYBE
I'm going to give a different summary. That one summarizes the entire general story of the book, but not what you will really encounter in the first part of the book.
So I'll help!
The book is separated into different parts, each part showcasing a different time. I'll give a bit of part one of the book as the story is so interwoven onto itself between the different parts that it would be a little terrible to give too many of the threads to you before you can encounter the text. That will make sense if you read the book.
The first part of the book is actually in the future, in 2073, where Eric Seven is visiting the Blessed Island to write an article. There are a handful of myths surrounding the island about it's inhabitants having very long lives, and the flowers that may exist. There's an interesting app for his phone that enables him to connect to others who have the app around him. Say a friend of a friend, or someone's cousin, etc. The six degrees of separation taken literally into app form. He's always had a connection on a flight before, but not on the one to Blessed Island. He starts off his journey a little unnerved.
Once on the island, he discovers that his phone doesn't have reception which is completely alienating; he's heard of it but he's never experienced it first hand. There are no cars or public transportation, the island is small enough to be able to walk everywhere on it. If there is a need for speed, a neighbor is usually willing to lend a bicycle.
Once on the island, Eric is greeted by a group of locals as it's very seldom they get visitors. He's put up in Tor's house (think of him like the mayor of the island), and given his own house to stay in the next day. Eric begins to explore the island in the hopes of getting information for his article, but is quite distracted by a local girl by the name of Merle. She haunts his mind.
As he begins to explore the island, something about it seems off. All of the islanders are happy and friendly, but they do not seem to have a need for money. The sun doesn't quite set due to how far north they are, and he seems to only be able to find the eastern half of the island.
Eric also can't really get an answer from anyone, just misdirection. He also begins to forget why he's there.
It's not amnesia, it's not being all weird like that. The narration makes it seem like a very natural way of almost falling in love with the island itself.
That's all I'm going to say because I want the book to be a mystery for everyone! Yay mysteries!
I will say that sometimes the book got a bit graphic but it was necessary due to the nature of the situation.
I'm a little on the fence on my personal reaction to the book. It's one of those books where I finish and I just kind of go, "Huh," and smile a bit.
It was an interesting little trip.
I will say that the writing was well done as every character that was shown seem unique in it's own way which I found a little startling given how many were introduced in the span of 262 pages. Each different time period was well grounded in it's place in time and the nature of the people who lived in that time.
I think the aspect I enjoy most is that there are many questions left unanswered, yet I don't need to know the answer. The story is guided by the essence of two people. We have some answers before we have even asked the questions. It was just really neat.
So I'm settling on neat.