cover image When the Moon Was Ours

When the Moon Was Ours

Anna-Marie McLemore. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-05866-9

As she did in The Weight of Feathers, McElmore blends magical elements with a culturally vibrant cast to create a haunting modern fairy tale. At its heart are two best friends turned lovers: Miel, a girl rumored to be born of a water tower who grows roses from her forearms, and Sam who, in keeping with the Pakistani tradition of bacha posh, has been raised as a boy, and now has no interest in living as anything but. Magic, myth, and legend are woven into the fabric of their town, and Miel and Sam’s relationship is complicated when the four Bonner sisters, who are rumored to be witches, come to believe that Miel’s roses will help restore their influence over the town’s boys. Lush, reverential language remains a hallmark of McElmore’s work, and while the story’s momentum can suffer as a result, readers interested in gender identity and the pull of family and history will find this to be an engrossing exploration of these and other powerful themes. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Taylor Martindale Kean, Full Circle Literary. (Oct.) [/em]