2007. 96. The Magician’s Wife

“The colonel left the house at five o’clock.  As his carriage drove out towards the main gates Emmeline put down her petit point and went to look through the window of her sitting room.  She wondered about the visitor.  He must be important.”

The Magician’s Wife, Brian Moore

This book was fine.  It was well written, and reasonably interesting.  The plot was ingenious, and the emotions true, if a little anachronistic (she says, never having lived during the time of Louis Napoleon, and not really knowing what people’s emotions were like at that time).  But, for whatever reason, it didn’t speak to me, and although it was short (230 pages!) I found it a bit of a slog.  I think it was because, even though this was based on a true story, I just didn’t find Emmeline’s story to be believable.  The novel tells the story of a young woman, Emmeline, married to a famous magician.  When he is recruited by the Emperor of France to travel to Algeria and use his magic to scare the local Muslims into submission, Emmeline travels along and is changed forever.  It was just hard for me to believe that an 19th Century French woman would be seduced by the Middle East, and fall hard for Muslim rights.  Also, the ending was abrupt to the extreme, and didn’t seem to follow, emotionally, on what had gone before.  It is, as I said, a fine book, but I wouldn’t kill myself getting a copy.


Recommended for: People interested in magician’s wife and anachronistically sympathetic French women

P.S.   I forgot to add that I read another book by Brian Moore, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, but I guess it was before I started blogging, so no hyperlink.  That book was super depressing.  


Date/Place Completed: 7/2/07; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction; Commuting Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017