Dark Sister Paperback – Jun 3 2000
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Dark Sister is the third book by British fantasy writer Graham Joyce to be published in the United States--and the author travels further into the realm of pure horror than he did in The Tooth Fairy or Requiem. Maggie, an unfulfilled, restless housewife in England, comes to terms with her nascent, otherworldly power amidst a disheveled and antagonistic domestic life. Her archaeologist-husband Alex is subtly dominating, which makes for an unfulfilling marriage. So, Maggie buries herself in the chaos of her small children, until a chance discovery both liberates her and invokes catastrophe.
During a routine cleaning of a chimney fireplace, she discovers an herbalist's journal; soon after, her life unfurls wildly and runs horribly aground. It seems that the owner of the journal was not just an herb woman, but also a witch with real powers. Inspired by this forgotten woman, Maggie begins to dabble in the arts of Wicca. The gifts it brings her are powerful--a sense of freedom, purpose, even clairvoyance. But every gift has its counterbalance, and Maggie's newfound telepathy allows her to see things she might have wanted to remain hidden. Even more ominously, it seems that in unearthing the journal, Maggie has awakened deep tragedies from an abandoned time, and the evil that now stalks her and her family might be insatiable and unstoppable. --Tamara Hladik --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Tooth Fairy was a PW Best Book of 1998.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Maggie is an engrossing character caught in a stifling marriage. She's a stay-at-home mom who longs for a little more than keeping house (and getting criticized by husband Alex when things are not up to his standards). Alex, an insecure turd, is the type who would lock her in a tower and throw away the key if he could get away with it and refuses to allow her to return to school. When the not-so-happy couple discover an old journal filled with herbal lore Maggie becomes a little obsessed with learning its secrets. As Maggie delves deeper into the world of magic and makes two new friends (a lonely herbalist and an eccentric, crusty old lady) who become part of her journey, her marriage continues to go down the tubes. I found Maggie's magical discoveries quite interesting but it's the increasing destruction of her family life that adds an emotionally grueling level to the story.Read more ›
Bound by her husband's lack of respect for her and her dreams [he forbids her to return to school to study psychology, wanting her to be a "proper mother], and the duties of mothering, Maggie searches for her identity by reading the diary and learning more about the remedies and potions described within.
Unable to find all of the herbs mentioned, or to understand the old English words for some of them, she engages the help of a local herbalist, Ash, who has a shop in town. She develops a strong bond with Ash, who is concerned for Maggies zeal to dive in too quickly to the potions and magic described in Bella's diary. He sends Maggie to "Liz" a strange old woman who lives alone and who is quite obviously a witch. Liz shares her knowledge with Maggie, but holds back a secret that is later revealed in the novel.
As Maggie becomes more and more involved in witchcraft, the time she spends away from home and her children becomes a sore point between she and her husband, Alex, who would prefer that she sit at home, minding the children all day.Read more ›
The story has a quick pace which gets right to the point on page one. Once Maggie, Alex and their children find an old diary wedged within a hole in their fireplace, their lives change radically. Due to the content of the book, Maggie becomes increasingly involved in herblore. As she finds that her simple charms and ointments are effective, she careens into a further unbounded study into the Wiccan craft involving a local herb dealer and a strange old woman. Maggie discovers a surprising power within herself but is unaware that simultaneously, she is unleashing a malevolent force that threatens her own children. Underlying this main plot is the psychological unraveling of Maggie and Alex's relationship, reflected expertly through the mirror of their son Sam's deteriorating behavior. Joyce's skillful alloying of science, psychology and the occult hallmarks the story with a good solid satisfying climax that resolves the characters' plights, and yet manages to leave the reader still tingling with the magical and supernatural implications which linger in the air like a crackle of static energy and imprint on the mind with a flash of color like the aurora bourealis long after the book has been closed and placed on the shelf.
Most recent customer reviews
I very much enjoyed Dark Sister on its own merits, but of course it is impossible not to compare it to his previous works. Read morePublished on March 1 2003 by troy w folsom
It is rare I can read a book in a short time. I have 5 kids so my time is limited. But I read this book in 2 days and was unable to put it down more than I had to. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2001 by Kitty
I had hoped for much after reading other reviews here, but came away from Dark Sister feeling offended. Yet another book where Pagans have a Dark Side (as if Christianity didn't? Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2000
As a wiccan I was pleasantly surprised to find a well researched portrayal of witchcraft without an extreme bias for or against. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2000