This sequel to Creatures of Will and Temper picks up in 1927 Long Island, where Ellie West fishes by day and sells moonshine by night to the citizens of her home town. But after Ellie's father joins a church whose parishioners possess supernatural powers and a violent hatred for immigrants, Ellie finds she doesn't know her beloved island, or her father, as well as she thought.
Compelling ... Once again, Tanzer expertly weaves an authentic historical setting into a tense, engrossing supernatural frame with lush descriptions and a steadily building pace. The alternating points of view of the two female protagonists, unwilling to live within society’s confines, really stand out. Despite the supernatural, historical setting, readers will see themes and issues that reverberate eerily with our present.
Fun and atmospheric ... The vision Tanzer paints of Long Island during Prohibition is nostalgic, tactile and just a little bit creepy. One can almost hear the creak of Ellie’s boat or the tinkle of Fin’s expensive champagne flutes as we float into and out of each character’s perspectives. That being said, the setting never overtakes the interplay between the characters...No one is perfect in this vision of the past ... The back-and-forth between the two heroines is worth celebrating ... does a wonderful job of knowing when to lean into an action sequence and when to step back and let the characters inhabit the world ... relevant in today’s divided public forum.
Charming, confident ... a fine example of nuanced, lovely landscape writing. The portrayal of groups of normal people falling into mob violence and hatred of the other groups is genuinely unnerving, and Tanzer resists simplistic moral takes. Some elements of the plot are a touch predictable, but the overall effect is delightful.