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    Dayla, the woman with the important job

    Dayla, Dayla, Dayla, the woman who has the important job of taking care of the grove. Dayla is the kind of woman who I think outwardly projects strength. She has a tight relationship with her husband, Oliver. She is close with a select group of people, her parents, Samantha and Galeno. People know and respect that she has magic in her and they care for her, not to mention the gnomes and her beloved cat, Dragon. Her spirit is good and it's apparent. Even though Dayla has all of these amazing things going on with her life, doubt invades her. We see a glimpse of it in the beginning when she worried about becoming consumed like Galeno and then when Jonah showed up it started to escalate. She doubted her abilities and her own suspicions and simply just dismissed them. This story shows how doubt, even with a person like Dayla and her magical abilities, can eat away at everything and the story's twist drives the message home.
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    Surprising in the best way!

    Surprised. That was how I felt after I read the first couple of chapters of “The Grove”. What triggered my surprise? Well, I had read Elizabeth Guizzetti’s first two novels so I was familiar with her impressive knack for spinning a riveting tale so I was fairly certain that I was going to enjoy her latest work. But, to be honest, I was not expecting it to bowl me over with the force of a tropical storm. That is exactly what “The Grove” did though – it bowled me over. I’m tempted to say that “The Grove” is Guizzetti’s best work so far. Yet I hesitate to make this proclamation because I do not want to deter anyone from reading her first two novels, which were spectacular reads in their own right. (If you haven’t read her previous novels, what are you waiting for? Seriously, put them on your to-read list right away.) “The Grove” is a departure from what I had come to except from Guizzetti and that was another reason for my initial surprise, which was closely followed by awe for her ability to tell such a gripping story. “The Grove” is a fantasy thriller but it made me contemplate some very real questions. How many sacrifices would I be willing to make if I were in Dayla’s shoes? What lengths would I go to in order to protect a loved one? If no one believed what I knew to be true, how hard would I fight to be heard? Basically, this story propelled me to take a hard look at myself and ponder the very nature of human nature. How often can you say that about a work of fiction? Not very often! Bottom line: I loved this book. One of the very best things about it is that you’ll be too busy keeping up with the story to try to figure out what comes next. If you’re a fan of well-written, fast-paced, fantasy thrillers that trot into the neighborhood of horror, you’ll love it too.

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