- Page Count: 464
- Release Date: September 19, 2017
- My Rating: 3.5 stars
Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.
It took me a bit to get into the writing style, but once I did I was pretty interested to see where this story would go!
Jane’s aunt died on a recent Antarctic trip, so a lot of the story is her processing that absence. She goes to stay with a super rich friend at a mansion on an island because she promised her aunt if anyone ever asked her to go there she would say yes. There’s a whole host of odd characters there and something sketchy is definitely going on with disappearances, art thieves, spies, and other token elements of mysteries. Jane decides there’s something to figure out (??) and Nancy Drews her way around the weird house while drawing a list of suspects. She also makes a ton of umbrellas. I really don’t know how to explain this plot, but it got quite creative!
I love quantum physics, so I was excited about the Limited Dimension vs Unlimited Dimension idea with portholes and a multiverse. But the way everything was executed in the last 30% with pirates, alternate selves, holographs, and some seriously random stuff didn’t totally work for me. It felt kind of dropped in or not used to its full potential…
So I did like this story overall, but it also got rather drawn out with all of Jane’s wandering around the house. It felt like most of the time was spent building up to something that never quite happened. And I love stories that get super odd or throw in magical twists, but this just didn’t pull me in as much as I wanted. I did like the side characters, though! Ivy was great.
Otherwise, there were a ton of Winnie the Pooh references and a few parts totally felt like the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who! So that was fun. The story also felt similar to Unearthly Things by Michelle Gagnon (a modernization of Jane Eyre) and reminded me of The House of Mirth at times. So maybe check it out if you liked any of those. This would make a really neat tv miniseries!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.