Tag: magical realism

Season of Storms

September 8, 2014 Fiction, Gothic, Magical Realism, Review, Romance, Women's Fiction 8 ★★★★★

Season of StormsTitle: Season of Storms
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: A beautiful, atmospheric book with great characters, full of exciting romance and adventure.

Galeazzo D’Ascanio last play is known as his most brilliant, but it’s never been performed. Each attempt has been plagued by disaster, starting in the early 1900’s with the first performance when D’Ascanio’s muse and lover, Celia Sands, disappeared the night before she was to play the leading role. Decades later, a young actress named after Celia Sands is asked to take on the same role in the play being stated by D’Ascanio’s grandson. Both the mystery of the play and D’Ascanio’s handsome grandson intrigue Celia, but the relics of the play’s history may prove more dangerous than they first appear.
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Beyond the Pale

September 1, 2014 Fantasy, Fiction, Gothic, Magical Realism, Urban Fantasy 4 ★★★★

Beyond the PaleTitle: Beyond the Pale: A Fantasy Anthology
Author: Gillian Philip, Heather Brewer, Jane Yolen, Jim Butcher, Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Peter Beagle, Saladin Ahmed
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: I liked almost all of the stories included in the collection and loved the diversity of the mythologies on which the stories were based.

This collection of short stories includes those I would categorize as paranormal, urban fantasy, magical realism, and a few bordering on horror. All stick relatively close to reality but step “beyond the pale”, including some mythical element. Several previously published authors contribute short stories related to their published series, but all of the stories can easily be read on their own.
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2 A.M. At the Cat’s Pajamas

August 14, 2014 Fiction, Magical Realism, Review, Women's Fiction 16 ★★★

2 A.M. At the Cat’s PajamasTitle: 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas
Author: Marie-Helene Bertino
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: I enjoyed this book’s quirky characters, descriptive writing, and creative plot but the magical realism felt tacked on and the ending felt unfinished.

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.” (Source)
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Some Almost Awesome Fiction in Mini-Reviews

February 3, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction 23

17333319Title: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆

The writing in this book was as beautiful as all the reviews say. Hannah Kent has the rare skill of finding new metaphors which speak right to the soul without relying on the familiarity of a cliche. The emotions, the tension, and the scenery were all very vividly brought to life. I was less impressed with the plot. Although I knew to expect this to be sadder than my typical fare, I was surprised by just how bleak things got. I was also unimpressed by the main characters’ naivete and inability to escape the bad situation which led to her present plight. Finally, while I loved the inclusion of “primary sources” and the real feel they gave the book, the author’s use of a report to unemotionally wrap up the ending felt very anticlimactic. The writing impressed me enough that I would still be happy to read more by Hannah Kent. Read more »


Bookends About Brida

July 27, 2013 Fiction, Magical Realism, Translated Fiction 0

2817201Title: Brida
Author: Paulo Coelho
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: A beautiful, thoughtful musing on the nature of life and love.

On the surface, the is the story of Brida and her quest to learn magic. I’m sure there are as many interpretations of this book as there are readers, but I read it as the story of a young woman trying to find love and her place in the world. Along the way she has to make some tough decisions about who she loves and what place love has in her life as it becomes filled with her focus on magic. Read more »


Monday Musing on Discovering New Genres

July 1, 2013 Monday Musings 17

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

This week I’m thinking about the fact that I’m still discovering new genres and genres I’m surprised I like, despite having always been an avid reader. Here are a few genres that I’ve recently fallen in love with… Read more »


Bookends About 1Q84

March 24, 2013 Uncategorized 9

Title: 1Q84
Author: Haruki Murakami
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Although the book was long and the ending was abrupt, I loved the writing and can’t wait to read more books by Murakami.

This book was so long and so strange that I’m not even sure where to start telling you what it was about, but I’ll do my best. The story involves two main characters and we alternate between their view points. Aomame is an assassin and Tengo is a writer. As the story progresses, they get pulled closer and closer together by events that initially seemed unrelated but which turn out to have a deep connection. The book involves questions of destiny and pre-determination, parallel worlds and some surprising magical elements. Read more »