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The Gifts That Bind Us

The Gifts That Bind Us

Hardcover

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

This spellbinding sequel to All Our Hidden Gifts is a riveting return to the lives of Maeve, Roe, Fiona, and Lily as they navigate their relationships as well as their newfound powers. We can’t wait to see what the third book in this contemporary supernatural series has in store.

Magic-sensitive Maeve and her friends face off against an insidious threat to their school and their city in this spellbinding sequel to All Our Hidden Gifts.

It’s senior year, and Maeve and her friends are practicing and strengthening their mystical powers, while Maeve’s new relationship with Roe is exhilarating. But as Roe’s rock star dreams start to take shape, and Fiona and Lily make plans for faraway colleges, Maeve, who struggles in school, worries about life without them—will she be selling incense here in Kilbeg, Ireland, until she’s fifty? Alarm bells sound for the coven when the Children of Brigid, a right-wing religious organization, quickly gains influence throughout the city—and when its charismatic front man starts visiting Maeve in her dreams. When Maeve’s power starts to wane, the friends realize that all the local magic is being drained—or rather, stolen. With lines increasingly blurred between friend and foe, the supernatural and the psychological, Maeve and the others must band together to protect the place, and the people, they love. A thrilling sequel to All Our Hidden Gifts.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781536222227
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 06/07/2022
Series: The Gifts
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 18,731
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Caroline O’Donoghue is the author of All Our Hidden Gifts as well as fiction for adults. An Irish author, journalist, and host of the acclaimed podcast Sentimental Garbage, she has contributed to Grazia, the Irish Times, the Irish Examiner, BuzzFeed, Vice, and the Times (London). Caroline O’Donoghue lives in London.

Read an Excerpt

1


I suppose I’ll always remember this as the summer that Roe learned to drive and that I learned to read minds.
   He got his license in June, was promptly insured on his mum’s car, and since then, the car has been a part of him. A part of us. They’re always interviewing TV actors who say things like “Really, New York City was the fifth character on the show,” and I suppose you could apply the same logic to Mrs. O’Callaghan’s Nissan Micra. Roe calls her Linda. My mum calls it “the galloping maggot.”
   “Maeve,” she calls up the stairs. “The galloping maggot is outside.”
   I bounce down into the hallway heavily, not having quite broken in my Doc Martens, the new leather rubbing away at the skin. Mum is giving the dog his eye drops, trying to hold his head steady, her fingers prying open an eyelid. I take my little drawstring handbag from the coatrack in the hall.
 “Take your coat.”
   “I don’t need it,” I reply. “It’s balmy.”
   “Hmm?”
   I realize then that my mother didn’t say that out loud, and that I am responding to a coat request that was only thought, never uttered. She looks at me oddly.
 
   Roe may have taken to driving quickly, but telepathy is a gift that comes slowly, strangely, and, ideally, with a lot of eye contact. You should really know when someone’s mouth is moving. I double back. Wary, tense.
   “I thought I heard you say . . .”
   Tutu wrestles his head free and tries to wander off. Mum snatches him back.
   “It’s not that warm.”
   “It’s August!”
   “It’s Ireland.”
   I shrug and head for the door. Her voice again.
   “Do you need . . . money?”
   I stall. “No, Nuala paid me yesterday. I’m grand.”
   I’ve been doing shifts at Divination, the occult shop in town, since school finished. Nuala can’t afford to pay me much, but given that all I seem to buy is tarot cards and McDonald’s, it generally lasts me.
   Another pause. “There’s a tenner in my bag, if you want to take it.”
   “I’m fine, Mum.”
   “Just . . .” The dog is free now, each drop having been ineffectively applied to the outer rims of his eyes, Mum giving up on holding him still.
   “Take it,” she says. “Just in case.”
   Everyone still thinks the ritual was a suicide attempt.
   Oh, Fiona lied all right. She played the part of silly drama student trying to construct a stabbing scene with her friends so well that we were convinced everyone believed us, not realizing that they were merely humoring us, waiting for the moment when things had calmed down and they could find out what really happened. It’s made my telepathy very useful.
   When I concentrate, I can see the light in people. I find my mother’s light—a sort of lilac tinged with silver—and I follow it straight to her until I know exactly what she wants to hear. I know when to reassure her, when to be elusive, when to imply that there is more information to disclose and that I will tell her, but just not today.
    It has been five months since the ritual. Five months since Lily O’Callaghan disappeared for all of February. Since a spell and a struggle with a knife almost killed me and Roe. Since she climbed out of the river, dripping wet and angry. She’s not interested in lying, like the rest of us are. Her answer is clear every time. “I was the river,” she says, a touch of mourning in her voice. “And the river was me.”
   The most common thought my mother has is worry, which is not surprising, but the shape of the worry is. She is constantly thinking that I have gone to a place beyond her, a place where I am sure to meet danger. She wants, very badly, for me to need her. So she tries to give me money, and when I take it, she feels happier.
   “OK,” I say, taking it out of her bag. I kiss her on the cheek. “Thanks.”
   And the lilac light glows.
   Fiona is in the front seat and, seeing me emerge from the house, gets out to join Lily in the back. It’s very pleasing, this little car hierarchy. I’m the girlfriend, and therefore I sit in the front. I’ve always admired those girls in school in long-term relationships: the sort of elder-stateswoman energy they give off, the First Lady air of dignity. I never thought I would be one of them. And now that I’m firmly that kind of girl—a girlfriend girl—I can’t help but feel older. More legitimate somehow.
   Roe likes to use gender-neutral phrases where he can, but he and I haven’t found a word that fully replaces boyfriend yet. We’ve Googled it. Lover is icky and technically incorrect. Partner is too dull, too grown-up. After that you start falling into terms like my sweetheart, and the idea of saying that in front of people is nauseating to both of us. Sometimes I say joyfriend, as a joke, but mostly I just say Roe.
   “All right, Chambers,” Fiona says as she flicks the front seat forward, ready to climb into the back. “Docs still giving you trouble?”
   I grimace down at my feet, my heels still bleeding despite the two pairs of socks I’m wearing.       “How can you tell?”
   “You’re walking like a duck on Prozac.”
   “Can you sort me out?”
   “Cost you a milkshake.”
   “Done.”
   “Go on, take off your shoes in the car, then.”
   We climb into the car, and I kiss Roe on the cheek, his long earrings brushing my nose. I bought him these, for his birthday, back in June. Long seed pearls on a golden chain, the kind he fell in love with when we watched Shakespeare in Love together. He’s into a kind of Elizabethan look at the moment. He’s trying to track down a ruff to wear onstage.
   “Hey, you,” he says, putting his arm around me. “How are the shoes?”
   “You could tell, too?”
   “You walked out of the house like you’ve only just achieved sentience.”
   Lily, in the back, says nothing. She has no suggestions of what I might look like when I walk, and it’s not because she wants to preserve my feelings. When we were kids and Lily’s hearing aid wasn’t as good as the one she has now, she would find group conversations hard. She would lose track and eventually zone out, and people would think she was being deliberately rude. That’s not what’s happening here.

   If you were to see the four of us out together, you’d probably think we were four best friends, and that the best-friendship held an equilibrium that shot in all directions. But if you looked closer, really watched us, you’d see that Lily rarely speaks directly to me, and often looks out the car window when I’m speaking. My heart sinks a little when I catch her blank expression in the rearview mirror. Please, I think. Please make fun of me.
   “Fiona,” she says instead. “Can you help me tomorrow with my math stuff?”
   “Math,” I say. “In summer?”
   Silence. Then, Fiona: “Lily is doing Leaving Cert prep, aren’t you, Lil?”
   “Yes,” she answers bluntly.
   Even the mention of the Leaving Cert has me swaying with nerves. No one expected much from me toward the end of last year. Everyone assumed I was too traumatized by Lily’s sudden disappearance and my odd role in it. A tarot reading, a strange card, a public fight, and then—poof—girl gone. Then she turns up on the same day that I’m hospitalized with wrist wounds? It was all too odd for anyone to compute. I was frequently checked up on, which I hated, and then I was ignored, which I loved. There’s nothing that annoys me more than an Is she OK? look, closely rivaled by an Aren’t you brave head tilt.
   It’s not going to be the same this year. Teachers won’t just leave me alone. It’s our exam year, after all.

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