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The magicians and Mrs. Quent
Beckett, Galen
Adult Fiction BECKETT

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and H.P. Lovecraft collide in Beckett's periodically entertaining debut. Young Ivy Lockwell, the unmarried daughter of a family stricken with poverty after her magician father went mad, travels from her home in Invarel, a mirror of Austen-era London, to become a governess at the country estate of Heathcrest, a Bronte-analogue complete with mysterious Rochester stand-in, Mr. Quent. As a woman, she is forbidden to perform magic and consoles herself with the study of magical history, discovering an ancient story still working its will on the world. Treading a fine line between homage and unoriginality, Invarel occasionally sparkles with descriptions of illusionist shows and quasi-fascist government activity, but Heathcrest is lifted part and parcel from Jane Eyre, and Beckett relies too much on references to that work to fuel emotional arcs and reader attachment. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Ivy Lockwell is a responsible eldest daughter who dreams of mastering enough magic to save her mentally ill father. He has left her clues to the puzzle, but mysterious "others" may solve things before Ivy can. Perhaps the rakish Mr. Rafferdy can help? Too bad Ivy can't stick around town to find out. She's off to the remote countryside to serve as a governess to the enigmatic Mr. Quent's niece and nephew. Earning her living is the only way to save her family from financial ruin. Marrying the boss could really solve her problems. Beckett's tepid debut is partly an homage to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, only without any energy, drama, or originality. He creates a world (the island nation of Altania) with great potential, which he then squanders through slow pacing, minimal character development, an implausible romance, and very little fantasy. Not recommended.--Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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