Author of the All the Stars and Teeth series, Adalyn Grace has been on my TBR for a very long time now. Belladonna’s synopsis had me rapt with attention towards the shopping cart on my Amazon. And yet, I ended up reading it as an e-book.
The story is about a girl Signa Farrow, who has lived as an orphan, moving from aunts to uncles’ homes as they are only interested in her fortune she will inherit when she would turn 18. Now, there’s death as a character in the book. While The Book Thief has a similar theme, where death is the narrator, this was a doubtful choice for me as the former put me off after just a few pages. But, this is a romance so ofcourse I had to get it.
Anywho, so Signa is someone who sees everyone around her die, and feels that Death only wants her destruction. Death is personified here, a rather handsome grim reaper (refreshing take) whose path keeps meandering around Signa. After she reaches the Thorn Grove mansion following the death of her last caretaker, she is determined to ‘kill’ death, wanting to stop seeing spirits of the dead, and finally have a normal life.
Signa finds the spirit of the lady of the house Lillian, who passed away, and alleges murder after summoning Signa in her spirit form. Signa, who consumes Belladonna berries to see death and get ‘revenge’ and at times simply wants to die looking at all the death around her, takes help from the stableboy called Sylas to solve the mystery of Lillian’s murder.
Someone described it to me as a gothic, supernatural verison of Bridgerton. And yes, it does have it’s ‘Egnlish-Tea-And-Society-Debutante-Gossip’ moments. Extremely entertaining and yet it gets darker as you go deeper into the book. Several twists and turns await in the book along with these nice breezy romantic slow-burn moments between Death and Signa. The Society party scenes are also quite interesting as time goes by.
The romance between Signa and Death is swoonworthy, if not entirely spicy. I would not have objected to a few more.. touchy-touchy scenes in the book. It does leave you wanting for more between the two.
The world building is excellent, though I did have questions that might just be answered in Foxglove – Like, Signa is mortal and Death is immortal so… how does that work now? Cannot wait for the sequel to release soon!
I actually met this one reader on Reddit from Eastern Europe, which was not just a cultural exchange but since she was trying to learn English better, she chose this book as one of her learning and entertainment experiences. I have heard a lot of praise about it on both bookstagram and otherwise. The writing is easy-peasy and fun. Death and Signa as characters are well defined, and so are the subordinate characters like her cousin Blythe, stableboy Sylas, cousin Percy and her Uncle too.
This is definitely worth reading. And perhaps this might even inspire those who wish to write something fantastical in future.
Rating – 4/5