So, the books I talk about today are what I thought Magical Realism was, before I really got into the genre. What I thought was Magical Realism is really a white and privileged sort of magic. I was intrigued, not creeped out, I was involved in what would happen to the characters, but I was not devastated and forced to address my privilege and the power I unfairly wield in the world. No assumptions were challenged.
Sarah Addison Allen was praised by Modern Mrs. Darcy as a binge read author. Sometimes her books float up on Kindle deals and I picked up two, because MMD is enough of a reader to be able to recommend all sorts of books to people who give information on their tastes. Girl knows her stuff.
If you read my blog with any regularity, you know that I often tackle works that push my assumptions, were written at different eras with different contexts, that were not written just to suck in audiences. I lost track of my susceptibility to a binger.
Please do not confuse my saying that it does not challenge my assumptions that it is not good or worthwhile because it absolutely is.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Her books take place in the South with women finding themselves. And some men. The magic starts right off when a seventeen year old girl comes to live with her grandfather who she barely knows in a Southern mansion falling into disrepair. So Goth. And the wallpaper changes in her mother’s old room where she sleeps, and this is just accepted and unexplained. People have magical secrets, and not magical secrets, and she tosses in some twists and some forbidden love. Yeah yeah yeah. I had to know. I wanted both of the women’s love stories to win. Sucked this one down in like, a day.
The Sugar Queen
Then I also had The Sugar Queen, and there was some magical realism in there too, mostly around one character until closer to the end when some crap goes sour and the delicious twist becomes evident. A woman trying to live down her childhood while eating a stash of junk food in her closet is interrupted in her life by a local woman who shows up to hide from an abusive boyfriend in the girl’s closet and turns her life around. Another character goes through a time where she needs to find herself after life experiences that have distracted her from this goal. Whatever. Girl power with some magic mixed in. My library has two of her books in ebook format ripe for the borrowing.
I want to delve into Alice Hoffman and see how white Magical Realism in her work is. It varies by color and oppression and belief in/dependence on the natural world. And, I suspect, temperatures. I am reading to see if it is different in colder climates, and it looks to me like it might be.
Short and sweet today, might go read more Sarah but I should see what Alice has to say.
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