Weekly Spotlight On….Magical Realism

Like magic? Don’t like magic? The magical realism genre might be for you. “Magic realism or magical realism is a genre where magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment.” -Wikipedia

This books all have a touch of magic within the story line. I tried to include a wide range of books, from classic to newer.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

life after life“Ursula Todd is born on a cold snowy night in 1910 — twice. As she grows up during the first half of the twentieth century in Britain Ursula dies and is brought back to life again and again. With a seemingly infinite number of lives it appears as though Ursula has the ability to alter the history of the world, should she so choose.” – Novelist Summary

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

the night circus“A fierce competition is underway, a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in “a game,” in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.” – Novelist Summary

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneger

her fearful symmetry“When Elspeth Noblin dies, she leaves everything to the 20-year-old American twin daughters of her own long-estranged twin, Edie. Valentina and Julia, as enmeshed as Elspeth and Edie once were, move into Elspeth’s London flat and through a series of developing relationships a crisis develops that could pull the twins apart.” – Novelist Summary

You may have already heard of Niffeneger’s other novel: The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

the particular sadness of lemon cake“Discovering in childhood a supernatural ability to taste the emotions of others in their cooking, Rose Edelstein grows up to regard food as a curse when it reveals everyone’s secret realities.” – Novelist Summary

100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

one hundred years of solitudeOne Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women — brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul — this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.” – Book Summary

Marquez is known for his magical realism. Also check out Love in the Time of Cholera

The Kings and Queens of Roam by Daniel Wallace

the kings and queens of roam“Helen and Rachel McCallister, who live in a town called Roam, are as different as sisters can be: Helen, older, bitter, and conniving; Rachel, beautiful, naïve—and blind. When their parents die suddenly, Rachel has to rely on Helen for everything, but Helen embraces her role in all the wrong ways, convincing Rachel that the world is a dark and dangerous place she couldn’t possibly survive on her own . . . or so Helen believes, until Rachel makes a surprising choice that turns both their worlds upside down. In this new novel, Southern literary master Daniel Wallace returns to the tradition of tall tales and folklore made memorable in his bestselling novel Big Fish.” – Book Publisher


The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld

the thirteenth tale“Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess,a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.”

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

the girl who chased the moon“Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew–a reclusive, real-life gentle giant–she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life.” – Novelist Summary

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

the alchemist“The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist…Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book.” – Publisher


2 thoughts on “Weekly Spotlight On….Magical Realism

  1. I would consider myself a person who does not like magic but I really liked The Night Circus. It was fun, and it was like the real world but with a twist. Another book that I think had a touch of magical realism is The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry.

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