The Fifth Petal – a Review

On Halloween night in 1989 in Salem, the location of the famous witch trials, a triple murder takes place. The throats of three women are slashed and their bodies disposed of in a crevasse. But there is a survivor: the young daughter of one of the victims.

Halloween 2014. A boy is murdered. He was antagonizing Rose Whelan, the woman who saved Callie from being murdered in 1989. Rose is suspected of killing the boy, and her actions are really strange. She claims a banshee murdered him. Not only that, but the banshee is now imprisoned in her so that she can keep it from killing again.

Callie returns to Salem after an absence of many years. Visions and nightmares become a part of her life as her memories of that horrible night when her mom was murdered begin to return.

This is a long book. When you read it, you might want to go hide in your room and lock the door because you won’t want to put it down to do anything else, especially once you are close to the end.

You meet a diverse cast of characters. Some you will like, but some you will not. Mystery meets the supernatural meets love triangles meets the witchcraft of Salem. Twists and turns and surprises fill this book. The many subplots that are in it do merge into one before the thrilling end.

The biggest mystery of all is who killed the three goddesses, the three women who were killed in 1989. I bet that you will be as surprised as I was once it is revealed who the guilty party is.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If you would like a copy of your own to read and enjoy, I have provided an Amazon link below.

Amazon Link: The Fifth Petal

imagination, wikimedia commons

My Favorite Sentences:
The below sentences came from an uncorrected ebook file. The sentences may appear differently in the final version of the book.

There were at least 150 of them this year—Wiccans, Druids, nature mama hippies with psychic tendencies, pantheists and polytheists—all walking behind his 1980 Crown Vic cruiser, the one he’d rescued from the junk pile.

More often than not, a tourist would ask him to pose next to the cruiser so they could capture its Witch City logo: a police badge emblazoned with a flying witch on broomstick wearing a pointed hat.

Besides, any witch worth her salt knew that every “black” spell you performed came back to you threefold.

The note echoed as it orbited the room, the sound softening everything it touched, removing rough edges, rounding corners, relaxing those who were seated.

kitsch, wikimedia commons

New Words Learned:
keening – a wailing lament for the dead

kitsch – art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way

modality – a particular mode in which something exists or is experienced or expressed

ostentation – pretentious and vulgar display, esp. of wealth and luxury, intended to impress or attract notice

prescient – having or showing knowledge of events before they take place

quahog – a large, rounded edible clam of the Atlantic coast of North America

stigmata – marks resembling the wounds of the crucified body of Christ, said to be supernaturally impressed on the bodies of certain persons, especially nuns, tertiaries, and monastics.

tetrad – a group or set of four

About the Author:
Brunonia Barry is the New York Times and international best-selling author of The Lace Reader, The Map of True Places, and her latest book: The Fifth Petal. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She was the first American author to win the International Women’s Fiction Festival’s Baccante Award and was a past recipient of Ragdale Artists’ Colony’s Strnad Invitational Fellowship as well as the winner of New England Book Festival’s award for Best Fiction. Her reviews and articles on writing have appeared in the London Times and the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post. Brunonia co-chairs the Salem Athenaeum’s Writers’ Committee. She lives in Salem with her husband Gary Ward and their dog, Angel. Gary and Bru are the organizers of the Salem Literary Festival.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *