As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line.– GoodReads
Content/Trigger Warnings: This is set during Jim Crow in the South. There is mention of the KKK, racist violence, behavior and mention/implications of slurs as well as forms of child abuse.
I can easily see this being one of my favorite books of this year. It’s just so addicting to read.
The magic system woven into this is dug deep into African-American folklore and the South/land itself. So not only does this strike deep into such a recent history of the U.S., McWilliams sets this during Jim Crow. (This also can make it a rather hard read for some, so just fair warning)
Two twin sisters are separated at birth, one white-passing and the other swept away to New York where things may not be a fairytale but they’re different than the South. When Charlie accompanies her terminally ill Grandmother from New York back to Georgia, she expects to leave the only family she has left in the cemetery when she goes back to Harlem.
Instead, Charlie finds out she has a twin sister who still lives in their small Georgia town; as the heiress to a white ‘gentile’ family. She can’t leave, and even if she wanted to there’s greater forces at work. Charlie’s sister is in trouble and now that Magnolia knows her true heritage, she might be in even more danger than what supernatural forces have in store.
A story about dealing with your demons, figuratively and a bit literally, the pacing matches the dread that creeps through from the past trying to hold the sisters back.
And it’s not just the past, the current state of the country means the sisters could be torn apart. They could lose each other when they only have the other left.
I loved how much you felt for both sisters, how different their situations were beforehand and how they came together. It was just so beautifully written that I just wanted to reflect on it for a while before I wrote this review.
There’s so much to their story; civil rights, a haunting past, magic, tragic loss, and tentative hope for a better life, together.
5/5 Cups of coffee from me, I received this ARC from Little Brown Young Readeres in exchange for my honest review.