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The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
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The Magician's Assistant (1997)

by Ann Patchett

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2,244842,857 (3.74)154
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Sabine finds her gay husband's long -lost family after he dies. California -born Sabine heads to Alliance, NE in a blizzard to meet the mother and sisters she didn't know existed. Culture shock ensues. Interesting story, but kind of a put-down to Midwesterners everywhere. ( )
  mojomomma | Oct 4, 2014 |
I read this for my live book club, then sadly I missed the discussion meeting. This is the story of Sabine (a magician's assistant) after her Magician and husband, Parsifal dies. She is not handling his death well, and then secrets about his past and his family come out to throw he life even further into turmoil. I loved Patchettt's writing, and her ability to create a complete character. Did I understand each character and the characters reasons for who they were. No not completely, but I still felt that they were a whole character, and like people in real life, not always fully understandable. I loved the book. I sped through it in a two nights after work. It was so easy to slip into Pratchett's world. ( )
  Serinde24 | Sep 27, 2014 |
I love Ann Patchett but if I wasn't familiar with her type of storytelling I couldn't have finished this. Premise is incredibly boring and the easy, limitless wealth was unrelatable (ha). I thought the magician bits were way too sensationalized. That being said I did enjoy the story, and mostly just wish the author had thrown in a very hot scene near the end ;) ( )
  twerkysandwich | Jul 10, 2014 |
I'm not sure that I liked the ending (which was maybe meant to be open-ended but felt rather abrupt), but I loved the message the book sends out. Family is what you make it and love is what you make it. Yes, you can be straight, married to someone who is gay and happily in love with the other man in your house. They can love each other, you can love them and it isn't full of the typical love triangle junk that most books in this three-people-in-one-house situation will throw at you. Brilliant, just brilliant and such a welcome relief.

Family grief is the key of this book. A man's genetic family is missing him greatly, not just because he disappeared on them, but because he died and they have only just found out. What happens after they contact his wife is a pure journey in emotional discovery and acceptance, without being at all overpowering or so dripping with said emotions that the pages are soggy with your own tears. Easy to see how it got the attention of the Women's Prize list makers. ( )
  mirrani | Jun 30, 2014 |
Great story, great characters...almost the perfect novel on many levels. ( )
  JosephKing6602 | May 10, 2014 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

What will become of Sabine now that Parsifal, her guiding magician, is dead? Returning to the place of Parsifal's birth, she makes startling discoveries about herself.

» see all 4 descriptions

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