Nor is the ninth generation of Blackburn women to live on Anathema Island. The first – Rona, a very gifted witch – became pregnant by a member of the eight original Island families, and when he tried to kill Rona she cursed future Blackburn women with a similarly failed relationship and the birth of a daughter. Nor tries to live as a “normal” teenager but when her abusive mother returns to the Island and uses murder and magic to gain power and break the curse, Nor and her friends must battle against her mother to save the Island. This fantasy novel for grades 9-12 raises issues of self-harm, abandonment, and relationships with family and friends, and is suitable as an independent or literature circle choice. Log in to read the full review.