The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic is the right title for this book. Barker has crafted a complex narrative with an educated heroine…trying to find her way through an alternate world. I’ve been reading outside of my genre and comfort zone…and this book definitely falls into that goal.
Nora’s boyfriend has dumped her to marry another. Seemingly, by magic, as she’s dealing with this humiliation - while scheduled to be at a mutual friend’s wedding (which he will attend) - she’s swept into a glamorous alternate life. Not initially realizing that much of what she’s experiencing is due to magic spells, it’s only during a personal confrontation that the illusion turns into a nightmare.
A wizard rescues her and becomes her mentor and guiding light into an alternate reality and whole other world. I love the idea of a writer showing such imagination (and dedication) and enjoy being carried along for the process. Of course the book is long, over 500 pages, as befits a project this ambitious.
To detail the plot would wreck the story…from a pretty early point. You really need to trust the author on this one and go along for the ride. I was hooked from the first chapter.
I liked the heroine, though admit she was a bit too unsuspecting. This gives Barker a foil to set up her plot and surprising magical twists…but does detract from her main character.
The book is really worth reading. It’s fun and it works. No, this genre isn’t one that will occupy too much of my reading schedule. But if you like this sort of story and being dropped into an alternate (and detailed) world then you will so enjoy this book. If not, well, I enjoyed it. Well worth reading.