Hope McLaren’s “A Familiar Fate”

AFFIf you’re a fan of paranormal fiction, you will find Hope McLaren’s debut novel, A Familiar Fate, very engaging.

“A full moon cast its glow over the roofs of darkened houses, their occupants fast asleep inside. I was the only living soul in the area…” starts this tale of witches and other supernatural creatures. These first lines draw you into the book and don’t let you go until the last page.

Violet Evans, a sixteen-year-old orphan, has no easy life. Nine years ago, she lost her parents and was placed in foster care far away from her home. You would expect an outpouring of compassion and care for such a young girl who, through no fault of her own, is left all alone in the world. Instead, all these years she has been treated as a slave in her new “home” by her foster mother and as an outcast at her new school. Her pariah status at school is basically the result of her “mother’s” tyranny, which has killed her self-esteem.

Thus, all Violet has in life are her weird dreams, the source and recurrence of which she struggles to understand, and questions about her true identity and the tragic demise of her parents. When encountered with strange phenomena, this impressionable girl has a hard time distinguishing between reality and her fantasy. But she soldiers on in her search for the truth. Lots of exciting and scary things happen during her journey, which is what has kept my eyes glued to the pages of the book.

I personally am not into supernatural tales, but I enjoyed this beautifully written coming-of-age story of Violet Evans and I’m glad that it’s the first one in a series and there’ll be more to come.

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