Monday, September 26, 2011

Waiting for the Magic



Waiting for the Magic
by Patricia MacLachlan
Atheneum, 2011. 143 pgs. Fiction

When William and Elinor's father leaves home to "find himself" by writing poetry and a novel, their mother takes them to the animal shelter and they pick out four dogs and a cat. Bryn, Bitty, Grace, Neo, and Lula the Cat move right in and make themselves to home, not least by helping the family adapt to their father being gone and in their own magical ways, making it possible for him to come back. All the characters in this short book are nuanced and delightful, but four-year-old Elinor takes the cake. She is first to hear the dogs speak and shares information with a wisdom beyond her years. William misses his Dad but pretends like he doesn't, he is so angry with him. Friend and neighbor Marvelous Murphy brings inedible natural earth casseroles which Grandpa dumps in the trash. A bittersweet peace at first fills these pages, and then gives way to just peace--and one last dog added to the home. Lovely reading. Not sure whether it will appeal to the age-level for whom it is accessible. One can only hope that at least some of thereal-life stories of busted-up families could end this well.

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