Author: Martina Boone
Series: The Heirs of Watson Island, #1
Years ago, Barrie’s mother left her South Carolina home and never looked back. After her passing, Barrie returns to the family plantation, to an aunt she never knew existed and with unanswered questions about the mother she never really knew. Watson Island holds many secrets and the founding families have a long, complicated history. The more Barrie learns about her family and the strange gift she inherited, the closer she gets to uncovering a dangerous family secret.
“She couldn’t stop moving. If she stopped, the loss, the change, the newness, would all catch up with her.”
Martina Boone’s Compulsion brings a paranormal twist to a family’s skeleton in the closet. Barrie has always known she was different, she’s spent her whole life trying to understand her talent for finding lost items. Growing up with a mother who never spoke about her life on Watson Island and who remained a shut-in after a fire scarred her, Barrie has a difficult time adjusting to a new life where she is unwittingly the center of attention. Most of the book focuses on Barrie as she tries to adjust to new people, like her new-found cousin Cassie and the infuriating Eight Beaufort. There is also an odd history surrounding Watson Island that everyone seems to be privy to but her. I expected a little more action throughout the book and the lack thereof made the pacing rather slow. On top of that, Barrie’s immediate acceptance of the strange happenings on Watson Island seemed very unreasonable in my eyes. It’s one thing to accept she has an uncanny ability to located lost objects, but another to so blindly accept the existence of spirits and curses.
The Watsons, along with the Beauforts and Coleworths, are the descendants of a peculiar legacy, a legacy of prosperity and misfortune. In a place where no one can escape their family’s reputation, Watson Island has become an insufferable cage to many, including Barrie’s cousin Cassie. Despite painting Cassie as manipulative and two-faced, of all the characters in the book, I thought hers was the most interesting. She’s desperate to escape her family’s curse of misfortune even if it means using her cousin to do so.
Overall, I felt Compulsion needed more action and its main characters came across as rather bland when compared to other more ambiguous characters.