A Little Night Magic
St. Martin’s Press, $14.99 trade paperback/$9.99 digital, Jan. 31, 2012
Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She’s been working at the same Nodaway Falls, New York, waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She’s been in love with Tobias, the cook, for the last four years; he’s never made a move. Every Saturday night, she gathers with her three best friends—Peach, Millie, and Stacy—and drinks the same margaritas while listening to the same old stories. Intent on shaking things up, she puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends . . . but then she meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical Southern woman who shows Olivia that there is more to her life than she ever dreamed....
When reading Lucy March’s A Little Night Magic, what struck me was how magic was used in the world created.
As a reader of fantasy, I’m used to big, grand, spectacle – powers straining limits and occasionally beyond imagining. But in A Little Night Magic, magic is intimate and precise. Its power is in the personal and in the relationship it fosters.
Every magical person (and not everyone is) has one thing that they can do. It’s inborn. They don’t choose it, it simply is.
One character’s gift is she can make breakfast food – the most delicious, amazing breakfast you’ll ever be privileged to eat. And that’s it, that’s her gift.
At first this type of magic is anti-climactic. Really, a book about magic and this is the best we get? But as you read the story, you realize that magic in and of itself isn’t that important. Magic is a supporting character, making other things possible without being loud and showy about it.
The above breakfast maker owns the diner in this town. It’s the place everyone comes and everyone gossips and celebrates a milestone or cries out a broken heart over a plate of mouthwatering waffles. The magic may be small, but what it helped do was make her the heart and soul of the town.
Sure, someone waving a wand and shooting a lightning bolt from it is cool and all, but this is the type of magic that bonds people and forms communities, and is a magic that on a deep level is much more satisfying to contemplate than a fireball ever could be.
Danielle Monsch is a Romantic Geek Girl Writing in a Fantasy World. Besides torturing her poor, poor editor about her latest story, Dani likes to read manga and watch anime, debate the merits of DC vs. Marvel, and geek out over the latest and greatest romance novel offerings. Catch up with Dani on Twitter @DaniMonsch