Published: June 19, 2016
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Opaline Duplessi has a talent, a very unique talent. Through the jewellery, the talisman, she makes, she is able to hear the voices of the dead. In the time of war, mothers and lovers find their way to her to have her create a piece, a talisman, that will connect to their loved ones, the deceased soldiers, so they find, in some fashion, a bit of peace or resolution. When a Madam Alouette comes to her Opaline is drawn to the woman and her story. As Madam Alouette tells her story Opaline realizes she knows of her son, Jean Luc. She has read his news column, and most especially his Ma Cher, love letters written from the front to his love still at home. As Opaline begins to make the talisman she begins to hear a voice, a voice unlike any she has heard before—it is the voice of Jean Luc. It is not long before she finds herself turning more and more to a man who is no longer in this world. As strange as she believes this is, she finds comfort, solace and hope in her conversations with him.
At the same time, Grigori, the son of Opaline’s mentor in jewellry making, Monsieur Orloff, pursues her in his own way. Despite telling herself over and over that Grigori is flesh and blood, alive, she cannot warm up to him. And the more time she spends in her connection to Jean Luc, the harder it becomes to spend time with Grigori. When Orloff sends her to England on a special mission with Grigori she wonders of her connection to Jean Luc will be severed—the days leading up to the trip he seems to be fading from her and this breaks her heart. But this mission is far too important for her not to go and once there a great secret is revealed.
The above synopsis barely begins to cover the breadth and depth of M.J. Rose’s latest story, THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES. At 320 pages here are three separate stories woven into one neat package. There is the ongoing story of Opaline’s lineage, that of her “gift” and how it brings about her relationship with Jean Luc and the mystery of her mission for Monsieur Orloff. A sub-set of stories joins the three into a book you simply cannot put down once you begin to read. Despite being the second of Rose’s La Lune series, there is little of book 1, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS with this one. There is the family tie, but the story is purely and completely Opaline’s. There is no need to read the books in order to be enthralled and understand each one. More than a connection between the two, there are strong elements of Rose herself in the story. In some ways it is perhaps her own story—or a piece of it.
Each character in this book is compelling in his or her own way. Each has their own story to tell. And each has his or her own intrigue that combines with Opaline’s. Rare for me when reading M.J. Rose’s books is that I had a hard time getting into it in the beginning. It seemed flat with a lot of unneeded information. It wasn’t until Jean Luc’s character began to fill the pages I really got into the story. When I got to the end though, when the secrets were revealed, I was glad I stuck with it. Once again Rose caught me off guard with not just one but two jaw dropping revelations—startling enough to have me reading it through again because I know I missed some wonderfully plotted clues.
Definitely one you do not want to miss.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.