Lucy is cursed.
Not that she knows she is of course...at least not at first. How could she? Although her mother has a mental illness and is homeless, Lucy found a loving home with foster parents who raised her as if she was their own. Unfortunately, she is actually, literally cursed by an evil fairy who fell in love and was spurned by her ancestor. Now all the Scarborough women are doomed to give birth when they are 18 and then immediately go insane. Lucy is at the end of her 17th year and everything is about to change.
As with all curses, there is a way to break this one. The tasks are set out in the song Scarborough Fair. I thought this was very clever. Before Lucy gives birth she has to make a seamless shirt, find an acre of land between the sea strand and land, and sow the land with one single grain of corn. Impossible, no?
With such a great setup, I found myself disappointed that more wasn't done with the evil fairy. He felt sort of flat to me. He waltzes into scenes and oozes his magical charm and then disappears for chapters. I didn't find him menacing enough, I wanted him to create more conflict, mess up plans, interfere more, cause sexual tension between him and Lucy (as in sure he's evil, but I sort of want to walk in the moonlight with him anyway even though he's effed up my entire family tree's lives). I guess even though we're told he is unbelievably sexy I found him too cartoonily evil and not suave enough.
Despite this, I think this one is going to be a huge hit with the supernatural romance crowd. It has some rather gritty ugly scenes that make it for more mature teen readers, but the ending is pretty typical fairytale.