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I am currently staying at a friend's house while she is in Africa, while my house is being readied to sell for what I hope is a LOT of money.  Her 27-year old daughter, whom I've known most of her life, stays in a cottage (but less cute than that sounds) at the back of the property, but we usually see each other in the evenings to watch "Game of Thrones" or chat while she is playing a video game that I can't remember the name of.  The daughter is friends with this author, who is a professor of English at a well-known college in Boston (not Harvard, which is sometimes called a "college outside of Boston" by those who are trying to feign embarrassment at coming right out and saying that's where they went to college, but everyone knows).  She loves this book and suggested I read it.  

 

You can imagine that my hopes were not high, but I enjoyed the book a lot.  There are two intersecting plot lines, one of a woman who has studied magic and realizes that a friend of hers has a magical knife and the other of a woman who has a magical talent for finding things looking for a special item at the behest of a client.  I never got the 2 women mixed up and I thought the plot was easy to follow and engaging.  I looked forward to getting back to the book when I had to be away for something as hum drum as work.  While there were definitely scary and upsetting moments, there were also some very funny asides or comments that I enjoyed.  I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in this kind of fantasy.

 

Apparently some people were put off by the ending, but I was not.  The objection was that not everything was resolved clearly.  

 

The finder character goes back in time using the knife to cut a passage between the present and the past and is waiting by the front door of the home where a teenager lives who ultimately ended up beating the finder character's brother to death.  So...does she kill him or not?  I think not because her brother had promised to vary his schedule so that he doesn't go to where he's killed and there's nothing to suggest that the killing was anything other than opportunistic and because the author makes a point of saying she's 18 in this world with the sensibility of a 40-year old woman and because she's constantly telling her clients that she doesn't hurt people.  BUT my friend's daughter disagrees and says that author says he isn't sure, but he thinks she does kill him.  I think the author lost control of that issue when he published the book and he doesn't get to tell me what I think.  So there.

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