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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Oak and Mistletoe by J.Z.N. McCauley is a story reminiscent of fairy tales. Catherine and her siblings, Danny and Kathleen, take a trip to Ireland to celebrate her college graduation. During their vacation, two significant events occur: Catherine receives an offer to work at a museum and their Uncle Mickey is murdered. Two years later, Catherine is living in Ireland with her siblings taking up residence with her after their lives don’t pan out the way they expected. Mysterious Bowen arrives with a warning. “Leave Ireland or they will be set free.” Catherine interprets the warning as hatred or even insanity. When tragedy strikes, Catherine understands the truth of his warning and the magic hidden within her.
Oak and Mistletoe has all the elements of a fairy tale. It has the magic and wonder of the Irish myths. Ancient ageless druids are only the beginning. It has a villain insane from tragedy. He’s unlikable yet sympathized with through Bowen. There’s the dashing prince charming type. Bowen can’t stand the thought of letting anyone suffer. There’s the humorous side character of her brother. There’s even a tragedy that propels her into the world. Oak and Mistletoe is perfect for a younger audience, but anyone who loves a good fairy tale will enjoy it. The magic is real, but is not the heart of the story. Catherine must find the magic within her in order to survive and save her loved ones. It’s a story of different types of magic, the magic of self-discovery, love, loyalty, and belief. Oak and Mistletoe is charming, fun, and magical.