The Captain’s Log – wild beauty (Anna-Marie McLemore)

Ahoy there me mateys!  This be the sixth book in me Ports for Plunder – 19 Books in 2019 list.  I absolutely loved the author’s book when the moon was ours and so knew I had to read another of her works.  I picked this one based on the pretty flowers on the cover.  I fell in love yet again with this author’s talent, characters, and world.

This story follows the Nomeolvides cousins who live on the grounds of the La Pradera estate.  Three generations of their family maintain the beautiful gardens that make the property famous.  There is a problem – all of the women are cursed and La Pradera is both a gift and a prison.

Ye see the Nomeolvides are known as witches for the magic that allows them to call flowers to bloom.  Each generation consists of 5 women and all possess the ability.  Persecuted for this magic, the women were nomads and fled from place to place until they landed at the manor.  In exchange for causing the barren land to bloom, they could stay.  But in growing the garden, the land itself decided none of them could leave.

If that’s not bad enough, the cost of having magic means all of the Nomeolvides women are doomed to have broken hearts.  Lovers leave or literally vanish into thin air.  The youngest generation is hoping to break the curse and have the ability to explore the greater world.  Despite all evidence to the contrary.  So the five girls make an offering to the garden.  In exchange, they unexpectedly get a boy who appears right out of the ground . . .

The most stirring part of this book is the emphasis on family.  I loved every single member of the latest generation of Nomeolvides women.  It is a complexly woven series of relationships.  There is emphasis on food, love, and family history.  The sheer imagery of the flowers and how they were woven throughout both the family and the novel was just amazingly beautiful.

In addition, I loved all the forms love takes in the story.  There are the mother-daughter relationships, the varied responses to the mystery boy, the relationship between the cousins, and the relationships between the girls and their friend and landlord Bay.  There are bisexual, heterosexual, and a lovely genderqueer character.  There is family trauma and rivalry and watching people grow and change.  There is beauty.

I am so very glad I read this book.  Arrrrr!

Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Anna-Marie McLemore – Author

To buy the book go to:

wild beauty – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Reviews for Me 19 in 2019 Books

the lie tree – Frances Hardinge (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

children of blood and bone – Tomi Adeyemi (Captain’s Log – YA Fantasy)

summerland – Hannu Rajaniemi (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

the ship – Antonia Honeywell (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi Dystopia)

rosewater – Tade Thompson (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

20 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – wild beauty (Anna-Marie McLemore)

    1. I have seen quite a few as well even though this was the only one on me list to read. There does seem to be cycles of certain topics, especially in young adult stuff. I guess there are marketing trends or something?
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve heard this book is wonderful, so I’m glad for the push your review gave me; I’d been seeing some negative reviews on it (I don’t really trust them, but they do influence me), so I needed this. 😉 Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

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