Of Burnt Roses and Cabana Boys


Indelible is Dawn Metcalf’s new book. I heard a teensy bit about it years ago, even before the gorgeous Luminous went to press, and have been bouncing around waiting to hear the rest for way too long.



Indelible is set in the modern world, but something of her mysterious and finely drawn characters remind me of the delicate details and half glimpsed faces of turn of the century illustrator Arthur Rackham’s work. (In this case Pandora’s Box.)

So we didn’t get the rest, but a wonderful start to a whole world.


I got an advance copy in June, devoured it, and then procrastinated writing about it. I’ve been putting it off because it’s so hard to describe without either sounding super vague or giving too much away.


It’s clever and beautiful and complicated and creepy and quirky and I tend to do a lot of gesturing when describing it in person. It’s about families changing and worlds changing, about siblings and friends and first love and how everything that holds individuals together can tear them apart.


I’m totally going to cheat and copy a summary from her site, best way to ensure that I stay spoilers free!


Some things are permanent.
And they cannot be changed back.


Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room-right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world-a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep and a life that will never be the same. Now Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one-his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.


Somewhere between reality and myth lies…




Check out Dawn’s blog for inspiration, entertaining rambles and the occasional chance for really cool swag. Also, if you’re in New England this coming week she has a book signing that involves special ice cream sundaes at an independent creamery, how do you top that?!

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