Book Review: The Madness and the Magic
Not chick lit, but witch lit. Yep, it’s a genre now, and well worth investigating. My first foray into reading witch lit is The Madness and the Magic by Sheena Cundy, which turns out to be a delightful read.
First of all, it’s not fantasy. It’s the real world, but with magic. And Tarot cards. And tipples of brandy. And hot flashes—lots of hot flashes!
The action centers around a trio of women (a mother-daughter pair, Minerva and Ronnie, and the mother’s best friend Isis) in a village in Britain. They face the usual round of modern-day problems—family, relationships, growing older—with humor and a touch of magic. There’s a Terry Pratchett-esque feel to the story, the kind of absurdity we find when we have to either laugh or cry and we choose to laugh. But there’s depth underneath the joking, and that’s what makes The Madness and the Magic really stand out for me. It’s a funny story but it’s real, too.
And the magic is real. I find that quite refreshing, in a world that relegates anything magical to the Fantasy section of the bookstore, when we Pagans know quite well it’s anything but fantasy, even if all we're doing is turning over Tarot cards. But lest we take ourselves too seriously, Minerva, Rhiannon and Isis are there to remind us that sooner or later we’re going to say something we shouldn’t, or do something we shouldn’t, or (heaven forbid) pee ourselves while the vicar’s standing right there. And when that happens, we’d bloody well better laugh if we want to survive.
This is a fun read but it’s not fluff. It’s quick but it won’t be a waste of your time. And yes, I do recommend it. Go get yourself a copy and join the ladies in their world of madness and magic.