Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: Spellcast by Barbara Ashford

Release Date: May 3, 2011
Published by: DAW
Source: Purchased from Amazon
Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Amazon

When Maggie Graham lost her job and her apartment fell to pieces, she decided to flee New York City for a while and hide in Vermont, at the Crossroads Theatre. She hadn't planned to audition, yet soon found herself part of the summer stock cast. But her previous acting experiences couldn't prepare her for the theater's unusual staff-and its handsome, almost otherworldly director.

"You're the puppet master and we're the puppets who dance and sing - and spread our legs - when you pull the strings."

Now that was good story telling!

I admittedly don't know much about theater or musicals like Brigadoon and Carousel. And plenty of Ashford's analogies had me scratching my head. Even so, she managed to draw me in and I was soon falling in love with a delightful cast in a charming little town called Dale. 

The main focus of this story is Maggie Graham. She is mysteriously drawn to a small theater known as the Crossroads where one long summer and a wide variety of amateur actors change her life forever. 

What many readers will find most appealing is the relationship that develops between Maggie and her director, Rowan Mackenzie. 

Maggie knows there is something strange about Rowan. His odd behavior, the compulsions caused by his singing, how being in his presence causes a confusing and unnatural fluctuation of her feelings. Even when presented with all of these red flags, Maggie finds herself attracted to the mysterious Rowan Mackenzie. 

"He's very charming. And sensitive. And talented. But there's something ... strange about him. Mysterious is fine in novels, but it usually spells trouble in real life." 

I loved the unpredictable ending, even if it was a little heartbreaking. 

I couldn't be more pleased to read that Ashford plans to release a sequel titled "Spellcrossed" next spring! 


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