Book Club: The Amaranth Enchantment

Book Club: The Amaranth Enchantment

2017-08-18T13:19:56+00:00 February 14th, 2009|Dare Dream Do, Personal|

My ‘I’ loved Julie Berry’s debut novel The Amaranth Enchantment.

The heroine, Lucinda Chapdelaine, embarks on a feminine hero’s journey; she connects to and cares for others AND she gets the guy.


Because Julie’s my friend, you could argue I’m biased.

I am.

But here’s what three of the industry’s most reputable reviewers, including Publisher’s Weekly (note the Starred Review from what industry insiders describe as “Coke to Kirkus’ Pepsi”), Booklist and Kirkus have said.

Berry’s enticing debut novel teems with romance, danger and suspense. Lucinda, a 15-year-old orphan, leads a miserable existence as a servant until she gains possession of an unusual stone belonging to Beryl, a reputed witch. As luck would have it, the gem is stolen and sold to a prince before Lucinda even realizes it is gone. Most of the plot centers on Lucinda’s adventures trying to retrieve the stone from the prince, with whom she predictably falls in love. Fantasy buffs will delight in the author’s playful use of fairy tale conventions—unlike Cinderella, Lucinda has the good sense to retrieve her lost slipper after attending a ball (“I considered leaving it there, but one footfall in my stocking feet on the cold granite changed my mind”). But the book’s main appeal comes from the revelations of many secrets and unexpected twists, including the truth about Beryl. Lucinda has to work harder than most such heroines to acquire her happily-ever-after ending, but her efforts eventually pay off, while leaving readers with enough unanswered questions to set imaginations spinning. Ages 10–14. (Publisher’s Weekly)

“Intriguing characters, fine plotting, and a richly worked narrative.”

“A lively, quick, stylish, engaging first novel.” (Kirkus Reviews)

My 8 year-old, Miranda, and I loved the book-signing; and at the book signing we attended, the young girls were riveted, accounting for nearly all the questions asked.   Miranda and I are reading the book together for a Mother-Daughter book club that we’re in; Miranda is also lobbying to have Julie Berry come speak at her school.

When you get a moment, will you go to and tell Julie ‘Atta Girl’?

  • What age group is this book directed at? I have an 8 and a 10 year old daughter. Would this be an appropriate book to read together?
    Allison Raddon

  • Rachael

    I’ve been thinking for a while that it would be really fun to start a Mother/Daughter book group–this looks like the perfect book to start with! Would you and Miranda like to join us?

  • Julie Berry moved to our ward as a newly married… I held a baby shower for her at my house WAY back when… I don’t think I’ve seen her since! How fun, and what a great looking book! I have three daughters, 12, 10, and 8, and we’ll plan on reading this together!
    Thanks, Whitney!
    And I’ll pass it along to other members of our ward who will remember her.

  • Janna

    On a related note…
    For the adults, I recommend reading the last chapter of Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run with the Wolves, titled The Handless Maiden. Estes takes you through the myth/fable/story, then beautifully and lovingly interprets it.
    I cannot summarize the meaning of the story and still do it justice, but just trust me. It’s worth buying the book, just for this chapter. It encapsulates our journey as women in a powerful, moving way.

  • Janna

    p.s. Congratulations, Julie! Here’s to dreams (family), dreams (published novel), and more dreams (more published novels) coming true…

  • Thanks so much, Whitney, and Jenny, of course I remember you! I remember that shower vividly, right down to what I wore and how huge I was. And the baby quilt your mother sewed me, and the paper plate “hat” decorated with all the gift ribbons. 🙂 Allison, to answer your question, the publisher suggests 10 and up for Amaranth, but I think an 8-yr old would do just fine in a read-aloud or read-together setting. I hope your girls enjoy it!