Book Review: Mariposa

MariposaMariposa by C.L. McCullough
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would like to begin this review by saying I loved this book. I liked it so much I am actually picking up an e-pub as soon as it is released. (I was fortunate enough to have an advance reader's copy courtesy of Lyrical.)

Mariposa is a headstrong woman in the 1930s with a God-fearing, rigid mother who tells her frequently she is the Devil's child and demands she rebuke the witchcraft of her grandmother. Once Mari is old enough, however, she stays with her Gran and learns herbs and medicines and, although she denies her powers, finally finds them with the aid of her Gran's journal, her Gran's cat Grey Malkin and her Gran's friend Willa.

Since she was little, Mari dreamed of a black horse that became a dragon who became a man. She held this vision as her "dream man" and all through a lonely childhood never really found a suitor.

(view spoiler)

I was drawn in by the peaceful beginnings of the first chapter. Mari is a very real character and, despite this being told in the first person, doesn't lose touch with the other characters in the story. I was compelled through the story to read and learn along with Mari and then when the action started to grow thick, I was drawn in. I couldn't put it down. I had to know what happened next. I caught the very early clues to the identities of the main characters and their importance and there were a few red herrings tossed in just enough to make you wonder. I was absolutely captivated.

The scene with Mari and her mother toward the end of the book made me tear up. I won't spoil it, but it's sad and sweet all the same time and, despite the conflict between the two of them, ends up being really sweet. There is a little romance and some suggestion, but no overly sexual wording. Very vanilla.

The very end of the book is, I think, the best part. I do so love happy endings.

Buy this book. Pick it up and read it. If you like a compelling story with a strong female lead and a little fantastical magic, you won't regret it.

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