I’ve been meaning to read The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore for quite some time, and I’m happy that I finally got around to it. This book is haunting and creepy, but it manages to keep the same relaxed pace as its setting–the Deep South (Alabama to be precise). I have lived in the South my entire life, so I appreciated how true to the culture the author is in this book. She recognizes that, though the Civil War is a dark period in American history, it still plays a very important part in Southern life (much to my dismay sometimes). Ms. Clement-Moore also explores the Celtic connections that so many Southerners have, as well as the widespread belief in ghosts and evil spirits. (Some of my Southern friends and family members may scoff at this, but I challenge them to visit Charleston and see how popular the ghost tours are.)
In The Splendor Falls, we are introduced to Sylvie Davis, a girl whose entire future is uncertain now that she can no longer dance. After a horrible fall that ended her ballet career (and the depression that followed), Sylvie is now being shipped off to Alabama to spend the summer with her aunt Paula in the Davis family home where her late father spent much of his childhood. Almost immediately, Sylvie senses that something is not quite right at Bluestone Hill. She’s seeing things that couldn’t possibly be there, and she feels a chill in the air that can’t really be explained in the heat of summer. What’s going on here, and why is Sylvie seemingly the only one experiencing these things? Does this have some connection to why her dad left Alabama and never looked back?
As Sylvie explores old family secrets and tries to figure out where to go from here, she’s also dealing with the interest of two young men. She’s unaccountably drawn to Rhys, a guest in her cousin’s house who is mysterious, has an adorable accent, and always pops up when she needs him the most (a lethal combination for any girl). Then there’s Shawn Maddox. He’s the town’s golden boy, and everyone seems to think that the sun rises and sets on him. Everyone except Sylvie, that is. But even she can’t deny that he has some kind of weird magnetic appeal. But is that appeal completely natural, or is there a more mystical explanation? (I know I completely gave away the answer by even asking that question, but bear with me.)
Is Sylvie going crazy? Why is everyone so interested in her? And why does she feel so connected to a place she’s never even been before? Can she solve the mysteries in this sleepy southern town before she loses her mind…or her life? Read The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore to find out.
Although this book had a more relaxed pace than many books I’ve read, I appreciated the change. The pace complemented the setting beautifully. I would recommend this book to fans of Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I just love books about magical secrets in Southern towns. I wonder if there are things like that going on in my own South Carolina town…
Anyway, for more information on The Splendor Falls and other books by Rosemary Clement-Moore, please visit http://www.rosemaryclementmoore.com/readrosemary/Home.html. Enjoy!