Magical Realism

seaIsland Beneath the Sea / Isabel Allende

The story of Tete a mulatta woman, a slave and concubine on the island of Saint-Domingue , determined to take control of her own destiny in a society where that would seem impossible.

 

lemonThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake / Aimee Bender

Discovering in childhood a supernatural ability to taste the emotions of others in their cooking, Rose Edelstein grows up to regard food as a curse when it reveals everyone’s secret realities.

 

chocolateLike Water for Chocolate / Laura Esquivel

At the beginning of the 20th century, Tita, the youngest of three daughters, is expected to serve her mother for the rest of her life, but in order to show her love to Pedro, who is engaged to her sister, Tita cooks for him.

 

extraordinaryThe Museum of Extraordinary Things / Alice Hoffman

The daughter of a Coney Island boardwalk curiosities museum’s front man pursues an impassioned love affair with a Russian immigrant photographer who after fleeing his Lower East Side Orthodox community has captured poignant images of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

snow childThe Snow Child / Eowyn Ivey

Alaska in the 1920s is a difficult place for Jack and Mabel. Drifting apart, the childless couple discover Faina, a young girl living alone in the wilderness. Soon, Jack and Mabel come to love Faina as their own. But when they learn a surprising truth about the girl, their lives change in profound ways.

night circusThe Night Circus / Erin Morgenstern

A fierce competition is underway, a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in “a game,” in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

craneThe Crane Wife / Patrick Ness

One night, George Duncan – decent man, a good man – is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. Unexpectedly moved, George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed. The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into George’s shop. Suddenly a new world opens up for George, and one night she starts to tell him the most extraordinary story.

snow birdBoy, Snow, Bird / Helen Oyeyemi

A reimagining of the Snow White story recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity set in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.

 

shadow windThe Shadow of the Wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafon

A boy named Daniel selects a novel from a library of rare books, enjoying it so much that he searches for the rest of the author’s works, only to discover that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written.

 

feetThe Girl with Glass Feet / Ali Shaw

After a visit to a remote, snowbound archipelago where unusual winged creatures flit about, Ida Maclaird begins to turn into glass, and she must get help from Midas Crook, a young loner and native to the islands, if she is to stop the transformation.

 

strangeThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender / Leslye Walton (YA)

Born with bird wings into a family cursed to be foolish in love, sixteen-year-old Ava delves into her family’s past hoping to understand her unusual nature and learn to fit in with her peers, but she is ill-prepared for what she discovers.

 

golemThe Golem and the Jinni / Helene Wecker

After her creator dies en route to America, Chava, a golem from a Polish shtetl, must navigate the streets of 1899 New York City by herself — her only ally is a rabbi unsure whether to destroy her, or allow her to fulfill her destiny as the harbinger of destruction. Ahmad, a jinni from Syria’s deserts has been released from his thousand-year-old glass bottle by a tinsmith but has little intention of remaining a metalworker, despite his uncanny talent for it. Chava and Ahmad meet and discover that they’re soul mates, but a dangerous adversary threatens their future.

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