This is the most exciting, magical story by Susan Wittig Albert! Even though she colours in every resident, we stay with characters we like: Beatrix, Will Heelis, Caroline, Dimity Woodcock, and introduce Irish schoolmate Deidre Malone. Deidre is housed by the veterinarian family, for being their nanny. She tells Caroline and Jeremy what her mother taught her about fairies, thus bringing an element I love that had been missing: something mystical!
This is Susan at her best: detailed where you want it but chasing characters after the action. Some information is gleaned by accident but like out of the movies, Beatrix and others directly launch into a showdown with no second to spare. Everything kept me reading with a fever pitch, like the three teenagers embarking to locate fairies in Cuckoo Brow Wood. It was enchanting to go inside these woods, always on the map but not delved into before. Even this book's cover is the prettiest. We meet absent villager Major Kittredge, of whom Dimity was fond before he went on a mission. He returns with a scarcely-acquainted wife everyone mistrusts. Their public reception grants us a look at Raven Hall, containing a legendary artifact.
It's fulfilling to reveal sides not seen before. Beatrix and Will like animals but what also says a lot about a person, is openness to the supernatural. Reactions to legends were neat. With all the above making an extraordinary novel, striking personal touches tied me to it! I too was new in town, with my first piece of land. The parallel synch of the novel stood my hair on end. At the time of reading, as I closed the last page, it was `May Eve' in real life; allegedly the ideal night to search for fairies.... and I happen to live in a forest!