With them in the room is their previously unremarkable high school music teacher, who seems to know something about their disappearance—and what has brought them back again. Desperate to reclaim their lives, the three agree to the terms of the bargain their music teacher proposes. They will be given a series of magical tasks; while they undertake them, they may return to their families and friends, but they can tell no one where they've been. In the end, there will be winners and there will be losers. But their resurrection has attracted the notice of other supernatural figures, all with their own agendas. As Laura, Daniel, and Mo grapple with the pieces of the lives they left behind, and Laura's sister, Susannah, attempts to reconcile what she remembers with what she fears, these mysterious others begin to arrive, engulfing their community in danger and chaos, and it becomes imperative that the teens solve the mystery of their deaths to avert a looming disaster.
An outsize novel ... In her prose, matter becomes plastic, bodies melt, and the membrane separating reality from fantasy is beaten to airy thinness. This is a novel in which statues come to life and people become statues ... Surreal moments keep flying through this story as hypnotically as starlings at twilight, but such dazzlement proves difficult to maintain. Eventually, the novel’s most magical quality seemed to be that every time I picked it up, it had grown longer.
Long, but never boring ... Reviewing The Book of Love feels like trying to describe a dream. It’s profoundly beautiful, provokes intense emotion, offers up what feel like rooted, incontrovertible truths — but as soon as one tries to repeat them, all that’s left are shapes and textures, the faint outlines of shifting terrain ... So much of Link’s work steps lightly, a tempering of the commonplace with vivid, delicate surprise ... Its composition, its copiousness, suggests that love, in the end, contains all — that frustration, rage, vulnerability, loss and grief are love’s constituent parts, bound by and into it.
Delivers plenty of...trademark dream logic while also making full use of the longer form to simmer characters, relationships and setting to the point of profound tenderness ... An intriguing cast of characters who each nurse their own tangles of kinship and loss ... A refreshing celebration of the special alchemies that animate human connection of all kinds.