The Gipsy in the Parlor

Margery Sharp

The Gypsy in the Parlour: A Novel by [Sharp, Margery]

The first Margery Sharp novel I read was Cluny Brown, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It could have been any one of them, really. They are all witty and  insightful. Her character descriptions are so sharp, the people live in your memory.

This story tells of a young, impressionable girl who is easily taken in by a sharp young woman who is willing to take advantage of the good will of others. Of course, she gets her comeuppance in the end, but the delight is in reading of her unmasking.

Most satisfying.

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She’s Come Undone

Wally Lamb

5203

Character-driven novels are my catnip, and this is perfect. Dolores Price makes her way through molestation as a child, college as a 257-pound freshman, marriage to a handsome narcissistic man willing to sponge off her, to finally find herself by the end of the book.

Wally Lamb gets women and is wonderfully apt at portraying them on the page. Dolores is unforgettable.

 

The Rules of Magic

Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic: A Novel by [Hoffman, Alice]

Thanks to Netgalley for ARC.

Three magical children escape the oppressive life under their parents to spend the summer with their aunt Isabelle in her home in a small town where the family ostracized by most of the citizens. Occasionally a woman knocks on the door to ask Isabelle for a potion or a love charm, but otherwise they are left alone.

The three children grow up trying to deal with the growth of their own powers. Franny, the oldest, holds on to logic and scientific theory to deny what is happening, until she is forced to face her own power. Jet, the middle child, loses her ability to know what people are thinking, after a traumatic incident. Vincent, the youngest, deals with his ability to read the future by trying to drown his knowledge in drugs and alcohol.

Ultimately this story is the story of the power of love to harm us and heal us.