Marea was born to be different – a girl born covered in the feathers of a bird, and kept hidden in a crumbling house full of secrets. When her new tutor, the Professor, arrives with his books, maps and magical stories, he reveals a world waiting outside the window and her curiosity is woken. Caught in the desire to discover her identity and find out why she has feathers fluttering down her back like golden thistledown, she leaves everything she has ever known and goes in search of the father she has never met.
This hunt leads her to the City of Murmurs, a place of mermaids and mystery, where jars of swirling mist are carried through the streets by the broken-hearted. It is here that she learns about love, identity and how to accept being that little bit different.
This is a beautiful fairy tale for grown ups. Set mostly in a Venice style city on a lagoon, where magic and mystery weave through the streets and canals. It is utterly transporting and truly beautiful.
It reminded me a little of Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus, but that might just be because like Marea, Carter’s protagonist is a girl with feathers living in a world of enchantment and wonder.
I couldn’t put it down and was left slightly bereft at its end as I didn’t want the spell it had woven to end.
Published in May 2020, this is definitely a book to pre-order and allow to carry you away. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy but I will be buying a beautiful first edition next year.