Sabine—twenty years a magician's assistant to her handsome, charming husband—is suddenly a widow. In the wake of his death, she finds he has left a final trick; a false identity and a family allegedly lost in a tragic accident but now revealed as very much alive and well. Named as heirs in his will, they enter Sabine's life and set her on an adventure of unraveling his secrets, from sunny Los Angeles to the windswept plains of Nebraska, that will work its own sort of magic on her.
After working as his assistant for more than 20 years, Sabine marries her beloved boss, Parcifal, knowing that he's gay and has just lost his lover. What she doesn't find out until after his death from AIDS is that Parcifal was actually Guy Fettera from Alliance, Neb., and had a family he never spoke about. Karen Ziemba creates an appropriately light tone for the narrator, despite some dark events that Sabine discovers when she visits Parcifal's sweet, dysfunctional family. She crafts clear, flat Midwest accents for the magician's mother and sisters and her pace and annunciation are excellent. Ziemba's men all sound alike, but they play minimal roles. She is an experienced and professional reader with just the right stuff for Patchett's 1997 novel, which probes the complex motives of Parcifal and his assistant. A Harcourt paperback (Reviews, July 14, 1997)
Customer ReviewsSee All
a lovely book tainted by typos
i ordered this upon my daughter's recommendation--her favorite Patchett--and enjoyed it immensely. Patchett's writing is virtually flawless, not an awkward phrase or obtrusive adjective. And this story of loves lost and loves found is as goofy and magical as the tricks of a magician.
Beware, however--this ebook is a lousy version, and reads at times like an unedited ms. There's one typo that tops them all, and enough minor ones to be distracting and occasionally puzzling.
Buy the real book instead!
The Magicians Assistant
Enjoyed! I must say I found tons of grammar mistakes as far as misspells in this book. I marked each one. Someone didn't proof read as they should have.
Worth every second
The Magician's Assistant is a richly layered story of the infinite layers of human love, loss, connection and discovery. The characters are vivid and intimately familiar without a hint of cliche. This is the first novel of Ms. Patchett's that I've ever read but I guarantee that it won't be the last; it was worth every second.