celiacla, March 7, 2012 (view all comments by celiacla)
I picked this book up on a whim, having no idea what it was about, and found it to be a surprisingly good read. The story is about coping with loss, and finding your way through to pick up the pieces.
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Sarah MacQueen, January 10, 2012 (view all comments by Sarah MacQueen)
I picked this book up on a whim this summer because the cover was intriguing, and the blurb in the front cover sounded interesting. I absolutely fell in love with the writing style, and the introspective, almost dreamy quality to the story. The book had exactly the ending I was hoping for, and I enjoyed it from start to finish. This is definitely a book I would read again and enjoy just as much the second time.
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7cats03, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by 7cats03)
This book first fell into my hands about 10 years ago, that copy has been passed from friend to friend's of friend's. A beautiful story populated by character's I wished to know in "real" life!
This year I found a copy at a local big box store, purchased it and became acquainted with this wonderful story all over again.
The fully realized character's, description of place and time are introduced in a way that opens the door to welcome the reader into their lives and time.
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lovingreader, January 17, 2008 (view all comments by lovingreader)
Ann Patchett's novels specialize in good mothers. This novel is a spectacular example of her gift of describing a mother that we all wish we could have, but know we can be.
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Harvest/HBJ Book -
Ann Patchett's writing delves into a new world with each successive novel. This time she takes us on a captivatingly American journey of love, loss, and redemption. Patchett uses a delightfully modern story to explore timeless questions that will resonate with many readers: what is the true nature of love, and how well do we trust ourselves to find it? Patchett's prose is careful and measured, yet also lush and elegant; she fully assumes the role of her heroine while encouraging us to take her hand on this surprising journey. The Magician's Assistant is fun, endearing, kind, and moving; it expertly explores new territory in the complex search for love.
After the death of her husband, a magician named Parsifal, Sabine discovers that he was hiding much more than she thought. She alone knows that Parsifal was gay, but now she finds he had a "long lost" family. The idea of finding a connection to her husband is so tantalizing, Sabine can't resist meeting them. Love, loss, and new beginnings are explored.
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Masterful in evoking everything from the good life in L.A. to the bleaker one on the Great Plains...: a saga of redemption tenderly and terrifically told."
by Kate Tuttle, Boston Book Review,
"This engaging, supple plot is played out against a backdrop of dreams, flashbacks, and long, elliptical conversations....With her quiet playfulness, Sabine's touch is as light and sure as that of the author who created her."
by Suzanne Berne, New York Times Book Review,
"[T]he kindliness of The Magician's Assistant is beguiling, and Patchett is an adroit, graceful writer who knows enough tricks to keep her story entertaining....The real appeal...lies in the small, accumulating ways in which Sabine and the Fetters family assist one another out of isolation and sorrow. By the end, they have all been somewhat transformed — yes, by the magic of love."
by Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times Book Review,
"The [characters] have a wonderfulness that collectively can be unnerving. But mostly they ARE wonderful, as well as individual, smart and battling hard. There is something of allegory in Patchett's novel. There are times when its insistent current toward redemption risks flooding the life along the way, and there is a suggestion of the author's hand hovering at the sluice gate. Rarely does it do more than hover, though: rarely does the flood level do more than lap at the ingenious life and liveliness that Patchett has devised."
by Alix Madrigal, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review,
"Magicians — and their assistants — may be masters of misdirection and slight of hand, but novelist Ann Patchett is the real thing. Patchett does have a trick or two up her sleeve... — her controlled, evocative prose for one; the uncanny way she makes the most surprising twists seem absolutely inevitable; not to mention the wisdom and tenderness with which she portrays the illusions that keep lovers and families together and those that rend them apart."
by New Yorker,
"Patchett's third and finest novel....Patchett's lush and suspenseful story is also a portrait of America..."
A reissue of Ann Patchett's third novel, about a magician who dies leaving his wife to discover a lifetime of secrets he kept from her
When Parsifal, a handsome and charming magician, dies suddenly, his widow Sabine — who was also his faithful assistant for twenty years — learns that the family he claimed to have lost in a tragic accident is very much alive and well. Sabine is left to unravel his secrets, and the adventure she embarks upon, from sunny Los Angeles to the bitter windswept plains of Nebraska, will work its own magic on her. Sabine's extraordinary tale will capture the hearts of its readers just as Sabine is captured by her quest.
Sabine-- twenty years a magician's assistant to her handsome, charming husband-- is suddenly a widow. In the wake of his death, she finds he has left a final trick; a false identity and a family allegedly lost in a tragic accident but now revealed as very much alive and well. Named as heirs in his will, they enter Sabine's life and set her on an adventure of unraveling his secrets, from sunny Los Angeles to the windswept plains of Nebraska, that will work its own sort of magic on her.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and eBooks — here at Powells.com.