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White Fox by Sara Faring: The Harry Potter Staircase Of Books

From Goodreads:

After their world-famous actor mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Manon and Thaïs left their remote Mediterranean island home—sent away by their pharma-tech tycoon father. Opposites in every way, the sisters drifted apart in their grief. Yet their mother's unfinished story still haunts them both, and they can't put to rest the possibility that she is still alive.
Lured home a decade later, Manon and Thaïs discover their mother’s legendary last work, long thought lost: White Fox, a screenplay filled with enigmatic metaphors. The clues in this dark fairytale draw them deep into the island's surreal society, into the twisted secrets hidden by their glittering family, to reveal the truth about their mother—and themselves.

If you've seen any of the Harry Potter masterpieces, you'll know that the stairs leading to the dormitories move around on a whim, confusing the students, and opening new paths. White Fox seemingly does the same, with incredible detail, revelation after revelation, you won't have any idea which path to take or what lies around the next corner.

Sara has done a tremendous job with this heart-stopping piece of literature! I can't express to you how many times I was forced to put the book down and gather my thoughts, trying to figure out this mystery. White Fox isn't just ONE mystery though, there are several in its pages. She (the book) has layers within her layers. One of the most interesting puzzles of this novel the relationship between the sisters, affectionately Noni, and Tai. These girls are flawed by design. Watching two young women discover hidden truths about their family, and ultimately about themselves, is an immersive experience. We see the highs and lows that genuinely come with sisterhood as they navigate their identities and purpose.

Taking anyone in this book at face value would be a mistake. Every single character is a story among themselves, a standalone holding literal plot twists. Sara's characterization is astounding. She's created the kind of characters that bring all the "you just can't make this stuff up" energy but, she has! The eccentricities in White Fox are so unique yet relatable, in the sense that I was able to really imagine being in some of the dark and dingy corners the girls are led to.

Speaking of locations, the gorgeously eerie locale of this phenomenal read is the Mediterranean island of my dreams! Sara's Limatra is decadent and rich, painted with such attention to the minute facets that make a place so intriguing, you want to hop on a plane to see them yourself. The island feels like a luxury destination on one hand, and on the other, it's easy to see how tourism has wrung out some of the color of a historically lush location. I appreciate the way Sara acknowledges this in her writing, coming from a West Indian background. The phenomena of the Foix-Hammick family reminds me of the spectacle of the Marley legacy in Jamaica, and I was able to connect to the story that much more.

It's easy to get caught in the drama between--sometimes--feuding sisters, the family intrigue, the subterfuge of business, or the sneakiness of hangers-on. White Fox has all those and more but the best part of reading, among Faring's beautiful prose, is the way these moments are all connected. Much like every corridor in Hogwarts, the branches of information in this book all come back to one place, eventually. Everything will make sense, all the (major) questions will be answered.

Sara Faring is a mystery powerhouse, and I can't wait to read what she conjures up next!

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