Tuesday, March 10, 2009

30. The Magicians and Mrs. Quent

By Galen Becket
Rated 4 Stars
From:  Connie

When I started reading this book I didn't think I was going to be able to get into it.  It started so slow for me.  I almost lost interest in reading it when the author spent so much time phaffing around setting up for the story.  Lucky for me I stuck with it long enough to get interested.  I get the feeling that the author had fun writing this story and therefore it makes it fun to read.

I am having a little trouble picking up on the Pride and Prejudice aspect of the story though.  I am channeling  more Sense and Sensibility with the three Lockwell (Dashwood) sisters and Mr. Rafferty (Willoughby)  And I did have to laugh at the gothic Mr. Rochester (Mr. Quent) and the locked upper room that the housekeeper makes sinister allusions to. (shades of Grace Pool)  I never did figure out who in the world Mr. Garritt was a parody of and also wondered  and if the Highway Man had anything to do with ghostly galleons tossed upon storm swept clouds?

Product Description:
Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and H.P. Lovecraft collide in Beckett's periodically entertaining debut. Young Ivy Lockwell, the unmarried daughter of a family stricken with poverty after her magician father went mad, travels from her home in Invarel, a mirror of Austen-era London, to become a governess at the country estate of Heathcrest, a Bronte-analogue complete with mysterious Rochester stand-in, Mr. Quent. As a woman, she is forbidden to perform magic and consoles herself with the study of magical history, discovering an ancient story still working its will on the world. Treading a fine line between homage and unoriginality, Invarel occasionally sparkles with descriptions of illusionist shows and quasi-fascist government activity, but Heathcrest is lifted part and parcel from Jane Eyre, and Beckett relies too much on references to that work to fuel emotional arcs and reader attachment.
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