Ken Bronsil's Reviews > The Magician's Assistant

The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
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's review
Apr 14, 2012

it was ok

Once, when I was in my early 20s, I traveled from Chicago to Cincinnati on a Greyhound Bus "local" route. That meant that we rode the highways and byways from one Indiana town to another, stopping at bus stations near courthouses or town squares to pick up some people, drop off others, and give us a chance to stretch our legs. The trip lasted somewhere between nine and twelve hours. There was a lot of waiting around.

I felt that way going through this book. Although Patchett can describe a person, place, a thing, or a moment down to the last detail, she takes a long long time to get the story moving.

Sabrina's (the main character) quest for answers about her late husband's past are pretty much answered halfway through the book. Other developments about some other characters come up, but they're not all resolved in the book either. The major conflict in the second half of the book sort of fizzles out.

I'll admit that I have a hard time with a book that has no chapters. There's a 133-page first part and a 233-page second part. I found myself re-reading a couple pages back to remind myself what was going on before I could continue again. Sort of like traveling over parts of those Indiana roads a second time.

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