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Manroot by Anne Steinberg

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In the spring of 1939, Katherine Sheahan and her father, the taciturn Irishman Jesse, are looking for work in the isolated tourist town of Castlewood, Missouri, which offers bathing, gambling and adultery. Jesse gets a job as handyman and Katherine as maid at a small hotel. Jesse drinks and neglects his work and eventually disappears, abandoning his daughter. Katherine discovers the ginseng, the manroot, and other secrets of the foothills; she discovers herself as a natural healer who has inherited this gift from her Navajo Indian mother. She also has a special but unwelcome gift. She can communicate with spirits. 

Among the hotel s regular clientele is Judge William Reardon, a local hero who metes out justice by day, then drinks the foul taste away at night. Escaping his sterile marriage, he becomes captivated by Katherine. He is like a man reborn. Theirs is a union of like-minded souls, but a dangerous dark magic is released. Can their love survive? 

A powerful, haunting novel that explores the powerful themes of identity and destiny, love everlasting and its brutal twin, violence. 

Goodreads Summary

Native American magic in a small town in Missouri is what makes this book alluring and mysterious in all of the right ways. This powerful story has so many raw topics that it may seem rough around the edges and bother some with cheating spouses and paranormal Indian Magic but this story really has guts where it counts. 

I loved the communication with the spirit world in this book. Katherine becomes enraptured in this world when she discovers she has a gift for paranormal communication and I found it fascinating. I haven't read many books on this topic and this was a welcome change of pace from the typical stories that we see in the YA genre. I also liked how many levels there were in the book. You have Katherine, Katherine's father, and Katherine's relationship with the Judge. The three parts play their individual roles yet stay tied together enough to make for a captivating story. All in all, this is a great paranormal action filled book with some romance to make it a fully well rounded package. 

4 Stars

*Reviewed by Chris* 

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