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magical realism

Tall Poppy Review: Magical Realism Served in Pies

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I’ve loved novels with elements of magical realism since before I was old enough to understand what the term meant. While Hogwarts, Narnia, and Middle Earth all have vast allure, there’s something bewitching about the idea of the magical in our own mundane world. Susan Bishop Crispell’s The Secret Ingredient of Wishes (Thomas Dunne Books) tells the story of Rachel Monroe, a 26-year-old who discovers at a young age that she has the ability to grant wishes. Unfortunately, her first experiences with her remarkable ability have disastrous consequences, and she grows up afraid of her own powers. For years, Rachel is able to avoid her gifts, until she attends the birthday party for her best friend’s daughter. She inadvertently grants the…

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Tall Poppies Review: ‘Dreaming in Chocolate’ is Temptingly Sweet

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The best dreams are the ones that sweep you up into a magical adventure where there is hope and love… and chocolate. Set in a small, quirky mountain town where a magical chocolate shop is nothing short of expected, it’s easy to suspend belief and swallow whole Susan Bishop Crispell’s bittersweet tale of a single mother facing her young daughter’s failing health, and her own crisis of faith in the family’s special brand of magic. With the help of an enchanted apothecary table, Penelope works to grant every wish on young Ella’s bucket list while they feel time slipping by too quickly. But the family magic has failed Penelope in the past and she has no reason to believe it…

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Dog Days of Summer: Books for Those Who Love Man’s Best Friend

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They are happy creatures. They are your best friend. And they always want to play — even when you don’t. If you haven’t guessed which furry four-legged creature I’m talking about then you must not be a dog person! Whether you have a companion dog, you’re a doggy foster parent or you’re simply dog-sitting for the week, we all know that at the end of the day these little pups are what get us through some of the hard times. Besides wet kisses and muddy feet, man’s best friend also comes along with some health benefits. After all, having a pet has been known to be emotionally and physically beneficial for ourselves. So here’s the thing: take a trip down to your local adoption…

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4 Memoirs that separate mothering and smothering

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With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, there’s no better time to read about the often ambivalent relationships between mothers and daughters. There’s a growing shelf of autobiographies dwelling on the complexities of the mother-child bond. Below we’ve chosen four terrific memoirs that illuminate that fine line between mothering and smothering. The Year My Mother Came Back, by Alice Eve Cohen (2015) There’s gentle magic realism in this mother-daughter memoir. The year of the title has two meanings: first was the last year of Louise Cohen’s life, when she and Alice reached a détente in their tense relationship. But then, nearly three decades later, Louise kept “coming back” during the difficult year that forms the kernel of the memoir—a year…

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