Dark Sister

Dark Sister

5.0 2
by Graham Joyce
     
 

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Maggie and Alex have their problems. their old, drafty house, for one thing. Their stressed-out marriage, for another.

Then one day, uncovering and cleaning the house's original fireplace, they discover a dead blackbird...and an old handwritten diary full of herbal lore.

Maggie takes an interest in the diary. Soon, with the help of her friends Ash, and

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Overview

Maggie and Alex have their problems. their old, drafty house, for one thing. Their stressed-out marriage, for another.

Then one day, uncovering and cleaning the house's original fireplace, they discover a dead blackbird...and an old handwritten diary full of herbal lore.

Maggie takes an interest in the diary. Soon, with the help of her friends Ash, and herbalist,and Old Liz, and old woman with a deep knowledge of ancient ways, Maggie tried to find her way in a world of power and magic. But Maggie's searching has awakened her Dark Sister, a malevolent force that threatens her hold on her family and her sanity.

Editorial Reviews

Edward Bryant
...[G]arnered the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel back in 1993...[A] successful work of dark fantasy that again reminds that Joyce is a gifted writer who would probably succeed in whatever arena he chose to explore.
Locus
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
FYI: Dark Sister won the British Fantasy Award for best novel in 1993. The Tooth Fairy was a PW Best Book of 1998. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
When Maggie discovers a witch's diary and herbal compendium hidden in the old fireplace of her house, she becomes the recipient of occult knowledge that leads her to a place of decision and gives her the power to harm or heal the family she loves. The author of The Tooth Fairy tells his eerie tale in language devoid of frills and sensationalism, creating suspense and dread within the normality of everyday life. First published in Britain, this subtly compelling dark fantasy belongs in most libraries. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The third US publication for British fantasist Joyce. Archeologist Alex Sanders, his redheaded wife Maggie, and their young children Amy and Sam live in a damp, leaky Victorian house. After exposing the original, pristine cast-iron and tile fireplace, they discover a dead blackbird and a handwritten hundred-year-old diary blocking the chimney. The children insist that the bird be buried, then later assert that it came back to life! Maggie, a frustrated housewife who dreams of taking a psychology degree, investigates the diary—which is actually a book of witchcraft. (Sam declares that he's seen a sinister old woman riding a rat.) As her relationship with husband Alex deteriorates, and her three-year-old Sam's behavior worsens, Maggie visits an herb shop where shopkeeper Ash, alerted by a blackbird, prevents Sam from leaping off a fourth-floor balcony! Maggie, using the diary, develops enhanced perceptions and reads of diarist Bella's mysterious "dark sister," then tells Alex where to dig in his excavations at the local castle. Sure enough, he uncovers a 16th-century set of ceremonial daggers, a woman's skeleton, and evidence of a horrific interment. Ash sends the impatient Maggie to the tight-lipped but clearly knowledgeable Old Liz. During an elaborate diary-inspired ritual, Maggie clairvoyantly witnesses Alex's adultery; that night he beats her up and she leaves. Old Liz learns of Sam's rat-rider and wonders if she can protect him. At the court hearing, Alex resorts to dirty tricks to discredit Maggie, and gets custody of the kids. Against all advice, Maggie decides to regain her children by any means. Taut and realistic, but tending toward ordinary supernatural horror andwithout the nuances that made The Tooth Fairy (1998) such a delight.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312866327
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
07/28/1999
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
5.79(w) x 8.58(h) x 1.06(d)

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