Mary is Bobby's mother. Though she is in her 60's, she looks closer to her son's age. That's because she serves as concubine to the mountain spirit Slanaitheoir. He helps her stay young and beautiful and in return she must endure his depravity. It wasn't a deal Mary ever wanted. But a pact her family made long ago forces a woman from each generation to sacrifice herself this way.
Everyone in the village knows what Mary is and that she holds favor with Slanaitheoir. So when Bobby can no longer bear watching his wife suffer, he asks him mother to petition Slanaitheoir for help to grant Caroline a baby. Once she agrees, it puts Caroline in Slanaitheoir's sites and starts a chain reaction that will destroy lives.
This story is really creepy. Slanaitheoir is a terrifying and powerful force. He is cruel and he takes what he wants. Unfortunately, he's not the only character responsible for so much suffering. Caroline is weak and selfish. True, she didn't really know what she was getting into and that is largely Mary's fault. But she has no one to blame but herself for her inability to be happy with the blessings she had.
It was hard for me to enjoy, not because it's a bad book, but because it was so... spirit-crushing. The entire story had an air of defeatism and ever-looming tragedy --one that that did indeed come to pass. The only character that I liked out of the whole thing was Bobby --and things really didn't go well for him. I needed more... hope.
It was dark; a little too dark for me, I think.
*ARC provided by author for review
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Consent to Loveby Bernadette WalshRelease Date: June 13, 2012Publisher: Lyrical Press