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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Imelda Burova has collected several secrets in her fortune-teller’s booth. The daughter of a Romani, Imelda took over her mother’s spot on the Brighton promenade reading tarot cards and plumbing the depths of her crystal ball in the 1970s. When the new manager of a local vacation spot decides to bring on entertainment for the guests, Imelda joins a motley crew of performers. Decades later, Imelda reveals one of the secrets she’s kept, writing to a woman named Billie that Billie's mother abandoned Billie at the fortune-teller’s door as a baby. Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things (2017), melds Billie’s search for the truth about her origins with the events of Imelda's unforgettable summer season in 1972. The novel is stuffed with an extensive supporting cast of characters, including a dashing daredevil motorcycle rider, a trio of mermaids, and a man who never forgets a face and claims he works for M15. At its center, Billie and Imelda’s burgeoning relationship crackles with unanswered questions in this heady mix of mystery, romance, and friendship.


Publishers Weekly
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In Hogan’s engrossing latest (after The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes), a middle-aged English woman searches for her biological parents. Forty-something Billie Marie, newly divorced, learns after her father dies that she was adopted. A letter he left behind instructs Billie to visit his old acquaintance Madame Burova, a tarot reader in the seaside city of Brighton, who happens to know all about Billie’s origins and hands over a trust fund left for Billie by her biological mother, without revealing the mother’s identity. Hogan then delves into Madame Burova’s experiences as a young woman in 1970s Brighton, where she encounters such characters as spoiled and obnoxious Vivienne, who will stop at nothing to get what she wants; Treasure, who is bullied as a child for being biracial; eccentric Clive, who never forgets a face; and Cillian Byrne, the handsome daredevil who may or may not be Billie’s biological father. As Hogan moves between past and present, Billie’s asking around about the past in Brighton has consequences not just for Billie, but for others too. The omniscient narration ping-pongs through many points of view—even a dog’s—which can become exhausting, but Hogan does a great job expanding on themes of friendship, racism, loyalty and love. With its trappings of a modern fairy tale, this one should have wide appeal. Agent: Laura Macdougall, United Agents. (Sept.)


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Imelda Burova has collected several secrets in her fortune-teller’s booth. The daughter of a Romani, Imelda took over her mother’s spot on the Brighton promenade reading tarot cards and plumbing the depths of her crystal ball in the 1970s. When the new manager of a local vacation spot decides to bring on entertainment for the guests, Imelda joins a motley crew of performers. Decades later, Imelda reveals one of the secrets she’s kept, writing to a woman named Billie that Billie's mother abandoned Billie at the fortune-teller’s door as a baby. Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things (2017), melds Billie’s search for the truth about her origins with the events of Imelda's unforgettable summer season in 1972. The novel is stuffed with an extensive supporting cast of characters, including a dashing daredevil motorcycle rider, a trio of mermaids, and a man who never forgets a face and claims he works for M15. At its center, Billie and Imelda’s burgeoning relationship crackles with unanswered questions in this heady mix of mystery, romance, and friendship.

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