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Walking the Labryinth
     

Walking the Labryinth

by Lisa Goldstein
 
Lisa Goldstein weaves an enchanting tale of contemporary magical realism as only she can do. "Walking the Labyrinth" is a novel of many questions and many more answers, the story of one woman's struggle to separate truth from illusion as she discovers family secrets that will change her life forever. 256 pp. 7,500 print.

Overview

Lisa Goldstein weaves an enchanting tale of contemporary magical realism as only she can do. "Walking the Labyrinth" is a novel of many questions and many more answers, the story of one woman's struggle to separate truth from illusion as she discovers family secrets that will change her life forever. 256 pp. 7,500 print.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Contemporary fantasy isn't Goldstein's forte. Her historical and otherworldly reveries (Summer King, Winter Fool, etc.) can dazzle, but the modern world seems to confound her storytelling in this novel set in today's San Francisco, just as it did in Tourists (1989). Here, odd-job typist Molly Travers is searching for her mysterious ancestors. Through a series of increasingly unlikely coincidences, she learns that she is a descendant of the Allalie clan. Originally adepts of the 19th-century English Order of the Labyrinth, the Allalies migrated in the 1930s to the American vaudeville stage, where they used their assorted extrasensory talents to "change people's lives." Molly's journey takes her on a magical mystery tour, but it's one in which Goldstein fumbles the cards and drops the white rabbit on the floor. Her prose is flat and arhythmic, with the many family diaries and letters that Molly discovers revealing the author's ignorance of Victorian locution. The characters are simple, and the plotting is obvious. There's some charm to Molly's discovery of magic in the everyday world, but it's not enough to make this one of Goldstein's memorable outings. Hopefully her next will forsake our world for a more enchanted one. (June)
Library Journal
Molly Travers is working a temp job in San Francisco when she discovers that she is descended from a 19th-century vaudeville and magic troupe. Raised by a maiden great-aunt after her parents died in a car accident, she learns from private detective John Stow that she has relatives she's never known about. As she and Stow investigate her family history, they discover a dark secret intertwined with the occultist Order of the Labyrinth. This thoughtful journey of self-discovery is highly recommended for realistic fantasy collections.
Kirkus Reviews
Contemporary fantasy, San Franciscoset, about young drifter Molly Travers and her large, mysterious family. Private investigator John Stow has been hired—he won't reveal by whom—to inquire about Fentrice Allalie, the great-aunt who raised Molly after her parents died in an auto accident. Fentrice's family toured in the old vaudeville days, presenting an outstanding magic show. According to Fentrice, Callan, Molly's grandfather, is dead; of another sister, Thorne, Fentrice oddly denies all knowledge. Learning that the family originally came from England, John and Molly visit the old home, where John discovers a book—a confession—written by Fentrice's mother, Emily; she had the Gift and could work real magic. Back in San Francisco, John reveals that his client is Samuel, an uncle Molly never knew she had. At Samuel's house, she finds Callan, not the least bit dead, and dozens of other relatives, most of whom can also work real magic. But Molly still puzzles over Thorne, who disappeared mysteriously in 1935. Did Fentrice murder her? And what of Molly herself: Does she have psychic powers too?

A deftly woven, engrossing who-dun-what: despite some intrusively didactic patches, Goldstein's best outing since A Mask for the General

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312859688
Publisher:
Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Publication date:
01/28/1998
Edition description:
1ST TRADE
Pages:
254
Product dimensions:
5.42(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.66(d)

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