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The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett

The Magician's Assistant

by Ann Patchett

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At the start of this book, Sabine, a magician's assistant, is faced with the death of her husband, Parsifal the magician. As she goes through the process of grieving, we start to discover that Parsifal is not all he seems to be. As Sabine sets off for Nebraska to spend time with her husband's estranged family, Sabine starts to come to terms with who her husband was. Ann Patchett is a wonderful writer and this is a beautifully written and poignant story about families, relationships - straight and gay - and taking control of your life after the death of an intimate partner. However it was intense and relentless and there were points where I thought I'd had enough. ( )
  sianpr | May 1, 2017 |
Sabine was an assistant to the magician Parsifal and then also his wife. Until he died, she thought he had no family. Now she discovers that there is indeed a family in Nebraska and important details about Parcifal's life that he had never told her. A great story. ( )
  gbelik | Apr 12, 2017 |
A very good story.Several storylines offshoot from the main characters of Sabine,Parsifal,the magician and Phan.A story of the magician and his wife and partner. After Parsifal's death there are secrets revealed abt his life and his wife seeks them out.Well written and highly recommended.My first Patchett book.Give this book 100 pages as it does start a bit slow,but worth your time. ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
Why did I even waste my time with this book. It took me 9 days to read it because it never really grabbed me and pulled me in. I kept hoping that it would. It drove me crazy how Sabine settled for a life with a gay couple as the third wheel instead of going out and having a life. Then she could barely have a life after Parsifal dies. The no chapters thing was frustrating. I like to have the little breaks. Also, the dream sequences were a little confusing.

I also didn't care for how the author portrayed the Midwest and Nebraska. I grew up in a small Iowa town and now live in Kansas City and she has it totally wrong about Nebraska or any Midwest state being "dead." We have clean air, friendly people, beautiful countryside and in my hometown you could leave your groceries in your unlocked car with the window down and nothing would be stolen. We never locked our house...NEVER. Also, if you got caught in a rainstorm, you could throw your bike in the back of a friend/neighbor's pickup truck that is sitting in their driveway with the keys in it and drive home. Then bring the truck back later. It was no big deal. So that my friend is the way I would rather live than in a big city like LA or NY. Now I will spend my time on a book that is actually going to pull me into the story and care for the characters because I didn't care for any of these characters at all. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
I loved the story. Sabine was a rich, interesting character, and the story was beautiful and poignant. I was, however, deeply dissatisfied with the ending. ( )
  NadineFeldman | Mar 21, 2016 |
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to Lucy Grealy and Elizabeth McCracken
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Parsifal is dead.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156006219, Paperback)

The Magician's Assistant sustains author Ann Patchett's proven penchant for crafting colorful characters and marrying the ordinary with the fantastic. When Parsifal, Sabine's husband of more than 20 years and the magician of the title, suddenly dies, she begins to discover how she's glimpsed him only through smoke and mirrors. He has managed to keep hidden the existence of a family in Nebraska--his mother, two sisters, and two nephews. Sabine approaches them hungrily, as if they are a bridge to her beloved husband and a key to the mysteries he left behind.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Just before dying, magician Parsifal of Los Angeles married his assistant, Sabine, who knew nothing of his private life, veiled in mystery. Not wanting to be an ignorant widow, Sabine sets out to learn who Parsifal was outside the world of illusion.

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