Breath caught in my chest. I realized with absolute clarity that one day I was going to die. One day I would no longer be here. All the things I wanted, all my thoughts, all my worries – all of it would be gone with me, lost forever. There were so many things I wanted to do. So much I still wanted to see. I had to hold on to it. I had to hold on to every short second of life. Every breath was a gift, gone forever to the cold stars the moment I exhaled.
This is expressed so well, it makes me want to cry just like the main character, Innkeeper Dina Demille, owner of Gertrude Hunt – not exactly your average, everyday hotel.
I seem to be reviewing sequels lately, or at least not the first book in a series. But sometimes books need to sit with me a little, or I’m reading a couple of things at the same time and I just want to sort through my thoughts and feelings. With Sweep in Peace, my review started forming as soon as I read the paragraph above, and this is one of many poignant moments in a novel packed with action, mirth, drama and excitement, but a novel that still stops to think.
Dina knows how to put down roots, literally, and her magic, the profession that she was basically born into, is a reflection of who she is as a person. She is hospitable, hard-working, occasionally desperate, realistic, witty, and she’s a deeply loving, loyal human being. Whether it’s the special attachment formed between her and Gertrude Hunt, for the Inn is a living being of its own kind, or the fierce love that drives her to search for her missing parents, Dina’s heart is in everything she does. What’s also appealing about her are her moments of immediately relatable vulnerability, popping up among all the skills, talent and magic that make her a true Innkeeper.
So I’ve scribbled on quite a bit about the main character, because I don’t want to spoiler about the plot, though let’s just say that Dina definitely has what seems like an impossible task on her hands, and the conclusion had me tearing up. Final revelations make you stop and think about current events or even relationships inside families, how we can hurt each other, how hard it sometimes is to open someone’s eyes to the truth. Yes, deep!
Dina’s relationship with the Inn and the Inn’s with her is intriguing and heart-warming, taking me back to Russian folklore and understanding of the home as such in particular (that’s my roots talking), magic within four walls (or more) influenced by the people living in it and the environment around it. Brooms, as Dina’s own proves, are not to be underestimated.
Enjoy your stay.