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Secret Lives by Barbara Ardinger

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A novel of magical realism about elderly women, younger women, good men, and mythological characters including the Green Man and the Norns gone mad in a modern world.

Goodreads Summary

This book was shockingly good.  The book is huge, 560+ pages, but it is definitely worth reading.  The plot centers around female friendship and the elderly, especially how the elderly are treated.  The little bit of magic rounds out the plot and leaves the reader feeling a little bit whimsical. 

The author begins in 4400 B.C.E.  where a small community worships a deity who is supposed to provide for them.  The shaman allows for contact between the community and the deity.  The shaman delivers a disturbing message one day, the people must leave or risk being trampled by pale men.  The shaman promises that she will see them one day again. Then the setting shifts again.

The reader will find him/herself in 1980 with a group of senior citizens.  Some are funny, some are "strong women," and some are one sandwich short of a picnic basket at times.  The women are quite literally strong though, Wicca is brought up.  The women may want to open up their "secret lives" and hopefully help their neighborhood-recently threatened by thugs. 

This book contains memorable and enjoyable characters, intriguing events, and a huge store of knowledge concerning different aspects of Wicca.  The reader will easily connect to the main characters and be able to focus on them completely.  The ending was satisfying, this book is recommended to adult readers.

4 Stars

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