One day after school, Edith almost killed a girl.
Edith Madeline Solstice is a witch, but she doesn't know it yet.
Her body is changing. She's entering seventh grade fighting the romantic feelings she has for a boy, Nemo, who's been a longtime friend. And although she hasn't grown an inch according to the Sacred Wall of Heights Feared in the third-floor hallway of St. Vincent Catholic Elementary, she knows something is up.
Her hands have been burning up like a fever. The ache is robbing her of sleep every night for weeks now. Her fear of hospitals keeps her from mentioning it to her Mom, who happens to be a nurse.
She doesn't let this keep her from practicing piano, especially since her favorite teacher Miss K offered her a recital in the annual Christmas Eve Festival.
But stranger things start to happen.
Her best friend Lenore wakes up in the middle of the night of their first slumber party of the school year. She's crying for help in a voice that isn't hers, and before Edith can make sense of what's going on, Lenore has a seizure.
Edith soon learns this wasn't any ordinary seizure. Something else is wrong. Something magical, and it's not good.
Then, there's the fight with her school rival Julie, over Nemo, a few days later. But what Edith does to Julie by accident is the key that unlocks a world of wonder that Edith isn't sure she wants to be part of.
She has no choice.
The Recital is a coming-of-age young adult fiction novel centered in magical realism. Coping with parents' divorce, fearing growing up, holding on to secrets for the sake of a best friend's own good, and keeping in touch with imagination for the sake of survival forces Edith into a place that demands courage that isn't easily found.
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Filled with inspiration and magic, this story sets a stage for Edith and how she must deal with the next step in her life, becoming a teenager. It's a honest and open book and it deals with feelings and family, all that come from growing up. With a male author, this book was surprisingly insightful. I hope that there is something that comes next as there needs to be some closure or even growth. Good story.
~Amy Shannon, Amy's Bookshelf Reviews
If there is a special place in your heart for Molly Ringwald and John Hughes movies, then this story will satisfy that wonderful nostalgia we all like to bask in from time to time. “The Recital” is a story that will most likely send you down your own reflective path, where you will reminisce about your teen years and the magic of experiencing such intense feelings for the first time. Love, hate, anger, envy, longing, friendship, love.
~Review via Amazon
There are many intriguing subplots to The Recital: what qualifies as “good,” what grief does to our mindset, especially when left unprocessed, the agony of first romance, and the double agony of a first romance being a recognition of one’s own queerness.
~Michelle Nugent, The Feminist Bookworm
Social issues are handled extremely well in this story; such as divorce and betrayal, fitting in and discovering your sexual identity. As a reader I became increasingly attached to this young girl, such is the strength of the perfectly constructed plot and her endearing character. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who enjoys young adult fiction, even if magic realism is not their usual genre.
~Chantelle Atkins, Underground Book Reviews
Very rarely have I come across a story that mixes reality and fantasy into such a seamless blend. The effect becomes almost like a magic trick that awakens the beautiful parts of your mind that we usually end up suppressing as we age.
~Jesse Torres, JTVizion