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Monday, February 11, 2013

Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin {book tour}

Scent of Darkness

author: Margot Berwin
publisher:  Pantheon
source: TLC Book Tours
"foodie" elements: not really, but there are a few foodie bits
hard cover: 240 pages

random excerpt:  He turned up the fire and poured oil into a skillet and water into a pot and then he lined up the jars of spice that Louise kept on the countertop: parsley, oregano, bay leaves, pepper, and thyme, and mini branches of herbs, including basil and dill as well as some lemons and fresh cloves of garlic.  He added them to the oil.  His plan worked-the kitchen filled up with new odors that did not quite overcome my own, but were certainly gaining ground.  (p. 62)

summary/synopsis (from TLC site):  In Margot Berwin’s hotly anticipated second novel she takes us somewhere darker, deep into the bayous of Louisiana, to a world of fortune-tellers, soothsayers, and potent elixirs: a magical, seductive story about the power of scent–and what happens when a perfume renders a young woman irresistible.

Evangeline grows up understanding the extraordinary effects of fragrance. Her grandmother, Louise, is a gifted aromata, a master in the art of scent-making and perfume. When Eva was a girl, Louise carefully explained the way lavender under her pillow would make her dream of the man she would marry; eucalyptus would make her taller; almondine, fatter; and jasmine, she promised, would wrap her entire life in a mystery.

When Eva is eighteen, Louise passes away and leaves her the ultimate gift—a scent created just for her. The small ruby vial of perfume with a stopper thin as a human hair is accompanied by a note in Louise’s slanted script: “Do not remove the stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.”

From the moment Eva places a drop on her neck—the essence of fire, leather, red velvet rose and jasmine—men dance closer to her; women busy their faces deep into her hair; even the cats outside her bedroom cry to be near her. After a lifetime spent blending into the background, Eva is suddenly the object of intense desire for everyone around her. Strangers follow her down the street, a young boy appears at her door asking for a favor, and two men, one kind and good, the other evil and seductive, fall deeply, madly in love with her.

A bewitching tale of love, blood, power, and magic, Scent of Darkness is a wildly inventive novel that will seduce the reader’s every sense.

my thoughts/review:  Dark, intriguing, and a bit magical - this novel is the perfect, quick, fun read to get into the spirit of Mardi Gras (Evangeline spends time in the hot underbelly of New Orleans).  Plus, there are a few food-scenes thrown in for good measure.  A great read for those into magic and the supernatural...with a bit for foodies and those interested in the mysteries of the universe (including the power of scent and smell).

about the author:  Margot Berwin is the author of the best-selling novel Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire. Her work has been translated into nineteen languages. She earned her MFA from the New School in 2005 and lives in New York City.

further info: website | blog | facebook | twitter


I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.  This post contains Amazon affiliate links.