The Magician's Assistant
By Ann Pachett
Harcourt Brace, 1997. 357 pgs. Fiction
Sabine is a beautiful woman who has devoted her adult life to being a Magician's Assistant to her handsome, charming, and brilliant husband Parsifal. At the start of the novel Sabine is suddenly a widow, and finds herself examining her marriage, and her life have not been usual. Parsifal was gay. His lover Phan had died previously of Aids, and Sabine lived with them both and they were all the best of friends. Upon Parsifal's death Sabine is suddenly presented with a very different picture of her orphaned husband when the lawyer informs of her of a family she never knew he had.
This is a look at the love we can share with others and the wedges that can drive us apart from those we love. As Sabine digs into the past of the man she loved she comes to know him in new ways, and carve out a future in a place she saw now hope. Pachett's style is strong, lyrical and character driven and the book reads quickly. ZB