Eva is an unusual teenager, she lacks a connect with her mother, and seemingly any classmates, friends, neighbors, etc. But she holds a strong bond with her eccentric, aromata grandmother from New Orleans, who now lives in upstate New York. Eva finds a refuge in her grandmother and her grandmother’s home in the small NY enclave, the home she inherits when her grandmother dies during Eva’s senior year in high school. With no real direction or plans, Eva leaves for her new home the last day of school to find herself. What she finds is a mysterious man in her grandmother’s home, who becomes Eva’s fixation. But once Eva and Gabriel find the special perfume that Eva’s grandmother made for her that offered to change her life, Eva becomes not only Gabriel’s fixation – but the fixation of anyone who comes into contact with her hypnotizing scent.
This is just the beginning of Eva’s tale in Margot Berwin’s latest novel Scent of Darkness. When Eva moves with Gabriel down to New Orleans she finds herself in a classic pull between good and evil – as many stories that lead to New Orleans have a way of going. I can’t say that even when I suspended any disbelief and let the story just take me along, I fully enjoyed the ride. In some parts the story dragged, while others I wish I knew more. And then there was Eva, a main character that I just couldn’t get myself to like or dislike – she seemed just one note, and left me wanting to shake her so many times. But Berwin’s writing, especially when the characters got to New Orleans was so rich and lush, I felt the heat and humidity, I was enveloped in the aura that is New Orleans. Which could almost get me to care about Eva, almost.
*I received this book from the publisher for review.