Friday, September 16, 2011

The Magician's Assistant, by Ann Patchett

As in Bel Canto, I was a hundred pages into this novel and still wondering why I hadn't given up. I'll tell you why I kept reading: It wasn't because the plot immediately compelled me. It wasn't because I connected with the characters or even understood them. I kept reading because State of Wonder and Bel Canto changed my life and I had faith that if I kept going, I wouldn't be sorry.

I was right.

Somewhere between the first hundred pages and the last hundred, I came to care so deeply for the characters, that I couldn't stand to be away from them. Even now, I want to jump back into the pages of the novel and say, "Scoot over. Make room for me. I want to spend more time with you."

I feel so sad that the story is over. I wish I would have dragged it out a little longer. The characters become so personable and intimate, and the plot, which seems insignificant in the first half of the story, has a major surprise by the end. How delightful you are, Ann Patchett! I can't wait to read another of your books!