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"I know why Mr. Giacomo wants Rose's baby and why he can't have him. And I want to make sure none of this is forgotten."
Robert Pepper-Smith's graceful new novel follows the friendship between teenagers Rose and Lacey and their search for self-confidence, acceptance, and love in a small village in southeastern British Columbia.
When Rose becomes pregnant, the mysterious and childless Giacomo family, whose wealth is well-known in the community, offers to adopt the child. As Rose wrestles with the decision to give up her baby, Lacey recounts her efforts to help her friend and the unsettling discoveries she makes along the way. With gentle humour and righteous anger, Lacey faces the destructive forces of greed and realizes her own capacity for courage and love.
"This is a powerful novel; when I finished it, I began again."
"Robert Pepper-Smith's books are like rare wines––each can be savoured, reread with ever deeper admiration, and meditated on. His precisely crafted style is full of resonant subtleties, while the ethical and psychological issues that he raises in his narratives are constantly thought-provoking."
"I loved The Wheel Keeper; I am spellbound by House of Spells. There are voices which carry the winds' mysterious power, which reflect the sun's light on snow, and delve into the unfathomable depths of the most pristine lakes. Robert Pepper-Smith is one of those voices."
"For a novel so short and sparse, Spells carries an uncommon power—readers will be surprised by how sharply it stings, like a tale seen through the uncompromising eyes of old age."
"A refreshing—not brooding—melancholy hangs over every word that Pepper-Smith has written, and the book heaves and sighs within that framework. This is the first book that has made me cry since I was a child myself; it is simple and glorious."