We meet Willa in the summer of 1950, when she's nine years old and living on Salt Spring Island. Willa's family has recently grown thanks to her mother's remarriage - step-siblings Patrick and Kenneth join the summertime melee alongside Willa, her younger brother and older sister. Of particular interest is Patrick, two years older than Willa and oddly captivating, vacillating between subtle aggression and flattering attention.
This quick and provocative read is not your average coming-of-age story. Demi-gods explores the power dynamics of adolescence, with Willa torn between wielding her newly-acquired feminine wiles (learned at the knee of her manipulative mother) and bending to Patrick's psycho-sexual mind games. For a low-key freak like myself, Demi-gods is the perfect summer read - the writing is lush and sensual, and Willa and Patrick's relationship is dysfunctional in the most enthralling way.