Simon Watson lives alone on the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks. On a day in late June, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name of Simon’s grandmother. The book tells the story of two doomed lovers who were part of a travelling circus more than two hundred years ago. He is fascinated, yet as he reads Simon becomes increasingly unnerved. Why do so many women in his family drown on 24th July? And could his beloved sister, who has suddenly turned up at home for the first time in years, risk the same terrible fate?
As 24th July draws ever closer, Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before it’s too late.
THE BOOK OF SPECULATIONS has been described as ‘whimsically dark’ (Publishers Weekly), filled with ‘wonderful descriptions’ (EW), and ‘abounds with imaginative flourishes’ (NPR). Swyler’s ‘scenes have a cinematic quality… Her writing is crisp and carefully crafted,’ wrote the Star Telegram.
Zeno represents Erika Swyler in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of Michelle Brower and Melissa Sarver White at Folio Literary Management.