Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett

The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett

Sabine is lost when her husband, Parsifal, passes away. She knew he wouldn't have much longer but with a sudden aneurysm, she's left in shock. She remains in her husbands large house and ponders over their unusual relationship. Sabine met Parsifal as a waitress when he was performing as a magician and asked her up on stage to help out. She fell in love with him, even though he was gay, and became the magician's assistant. Parsifal fell in love with Phan however, a Vietnamese man who moved in. When Phan passed away, Parsifal agreed to marry Sabine.

After Parsifal's passing, Sabine gets a call from the estate lawyer telling her that Parsifal is leaving money to his family. Except, Parsifal told Sabine that his family was dead and she doesn't even know they exist. This book follows Sabine's journey as she learns who Parsifal's family is and why he told her they were all dead. Slowly she learns more and more about her lost family-in-law, and why they were suddenly abandoned.

This book is well written, but is way too slow. The pace was only JUST enough to keep me reading it. Each time you learn something new you think the pace might pick up a bit, but it doesn't. Then there's the ending. The ending was unexpected, shocking, and yet still disappointing. I almost felt like it was a cop out and that Sabine was just throwing away Parsifal's memory to find a replacement.

First Line: "Parsifal is dead."



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