Other Words for Smoke (Hardcover)
Twins Mae and Rossa’s summer away from home becomes life altering when they discover a house full of witches, experience devastating first love, and face a dark power beyond any imagining.
Sarah Maria Griffin’s haunting and literary sophomore novel explores the balance between love and fear, weakness and power, and the lengths one will go to claim one’s freedom. For fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners and Maggie Stiefvater’s All the Crooked Saints.
When the women from the house at the end of the lane went missing, none of the townspeople knew what happened. A tragedy, they called it. Only twins Mae and Rossa know the truth about that fateful summer.
Only they know about the owl in the wall, the uncanny cat, the insidious creatures that devour love and fear. Only they know the trials of loving someone who longs for power, for freedom, for magic. Only they know what brought everything tumbling down around them. And they’ll never, ever breathe a word.With an unusual structure spanning five summers, intriguing characters, and a dark mystery, this uncommon novel will appeal to readers of Rin Chupeco’s The Bone Witch and Madeleine Roux’s House of Furies.
About the Author
Sarah Maria Griffin lives in Dublin, Ireland, in a small red brick house by the sea, with her husband and cat. She writes about monsters, growing up, and everything those two things have in common. This is her first novel. You can visit her at www.sarahgriff.com.
“Griffin spins a surreal and haunting tale. . .Family problems and adolescent trials tether the narrative to reality, while heightening the otherworldly threats surrounding its characters. Griffin’s hallucinatory novel creeps under the skin, unnerving readers while urging them forward.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Utterly enthralling. . .Griffin writes with metaphors steeped in loss and imagery seared with pain. . .Somewhere between Cashore’s Jane Unlimited, and Legrand’s Sawkill Girls, this reminds readers that the emotional triumphs and failures of humans can be both inconsequential and far reaching.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“A beautiful novel woven from magic that seeps into your blood and bones and lingers there...Sarah’s gorgeous prose will haunt you.”
— – Christina Henry, bestselling author of Alice and Lost Boy
“A fascinating coming-of-age story...Griffin has a keen eye for the beautiful agony of adolescence, and that’s what makes this book such a compelling read.”
— —Charlie Jane Anders, bestselling author of All the Birds in the Sky
“To say this novel, dripping with pull and promise, is good, would be an understatement and an oversimplification. It’s the kind of good that is both wonderful and horrifying simultaneously, awful and wrong and gorgeous as its shadowy and powerful wallpaper owl. ...A brilliant piece of feminine-powered complexity.”
— —Matt Killeen, bestselling author of Orphan Monster Spy
“Making use of horror tropes. . .Griffin combines the distasteful aspects and ordinary grubbiness of the human condition. . .with shadowy, unsettling hungers, mystical protective rituals, and unseen threats.”
— The Horn Book