Friday, January 18, 2013


Today's post is on 'Spellcast' by Barbara Ashford. It is published by DAW which is an imprint of Penguin Group. It is 433 pages long. The cover has a very nice picture of a barn with theatre curtains in the doorway. The cover did not really draw me to the book it was the title, I just love it. The intended reader is 16+ because of some sex scenes, nothing really bad, but just something you need to be aware of. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Maggie Graham was having a very bad summer... First, she lost her job. Then the bathroom ceiling in her Brooklyn apartment collapsed. That was when Maggie decided it was time to run away from home for a while. A weekend in Vermont sounded  like the perfect getaway. Spying a road sign for the township of Hillandale, she impulsively took the exit, and randomly turned left towards Dale. For some reason the area felt familiar, especially the bog white barn she passed on the way to town. And, as though everything about this journey was somehow preordained, Maggie ended up auditioning for and being offered a job in the summer stock company of the Crossroads Threate- housed in that white barn outside of town. As it turned out she was practically the only person in the cast with previous acting credits. But none of her professional experience could prepare her for the magic that was about to happen on the stage of this big old barn, or for the theatre's unorthodox staff, especially its moody and mysterious director....

Review- Just a warning about this book; it is a character piece. The plot is secondary to the characters and their development. That is a good thing to me but I really like to watch characters be more than just the way that the plot moves. The plot is very neat, with good twists and good reveals, but the characters are why you would read this book. Other things that I liked about this book- I liked have a chapter page with all the chapters and interludes listed; I like that all the chapter titles are from musicals; I like that the ending is not Happily Ever After (or for those in the know a HEA). The reason why Maggie was called to the theatre is interesting and the hero Rowan is very mysterious but once again I am shown why I would never be a romance heroine. I am far too practical. The second that some person, I don't care who, starts giving me the hot and cold treatment I am out the door. Not that Rowan is so bad, he is not, it is just more of a me thing. Maggie is looking for answers to some very big questions and in the end she forgives the people in her life for the choices that they made. Maggie grows from someone who is afraid to really look at herself to someone who can see why her life is like it is at the start of the book. Ashford does not rush that. We, the readers, are with Maggie as she discovers the truth about herself and the theatre too.

I give Spellcast a solid Four and a Half stars. I was not given anything for my review, I bought this book with my own money and I'm still jobless.