cover image Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty

Anne-Marie McLemore. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-12455-5

Nomeolvides women have the power to conjure flowers. They’re also cursed: whenever they fall in love, the object of their affection vanishes. The women strive for normalcy, channeling their magic into the elaborate gardens at La Pradera estate and forsaking suitors before they can disappear, but then Estrella Nomeolvides and her four cousins all fall for La Pradera’s vivacious owner, Bay Briar. The girls perform a ritual that’s intended to protect her, but it instead summons Fel, a strangely dressed boy who can’t recall his past. Assuming that Fel is the resurrection of a prior generation’s lost lover, the Nomeolvideses take him in; when his memories surface, they must face dark truths about their history and home. Featuring gay, bisexual, and genderqueer characters from multiple cultures, this vibrant, eloquently written fairy tale from McLemore (When the Moon Was Ours) illustrates the nondiscriminatory nature of love while thoughtfully exploring its risks and rewards. The pace is languid and some of the supporting characters lack depth, but McLemore’s mythology is rich, and the heart-rending conclusion thrills and gratifies. Ages 12–up. Agent: Taylor Martindale Kean, Full Circle Literary. (Oct.)