If you don’t know Mary Petrie, it is my pleasure to introduce you to her, her blog Minnesota Matron, and her first published novel, At the End of Magic.
Mary and I first met years ago in the way that bloggers do, each of us tracing the other back through links in comment sections of various blogs. Mary is an award-winning writer, a feminist, a mother of three, and teaches English and Gender Studies at Inver Hills Community College (she is currently on sabbatical working on another book).
At the End of Magic is a fantastic read. It is at once gripping and soothing as we are guided to examine edges raw and places deep in Mary’s characters. Perhaps we more easily explore the boundaries of our own existential and everyday struggles and triumphs when reading about someone else’s. Mary takes us there and back and there again. Her characters’ strengths and vulnerabilities are deftly probed and compassionately exposed. We know them, and we are they, even as we want to look and look away.
Motherhood and all of its vicissitudes and victories is a central theme as the stories of the co-protagonists unfold and merge. Leilani is a mother without a daughter, and Delphi is a daughter without a mother. To be sure, At the End of Magic is neither specifically about motherhood nor is it written for mothers. It is written for anyone who has experienced and/or lacked a relationship with a mother. In other words, this book is for everyone and anyone.
The story behind the story is as compelling and affirming as the novel itself because Mary’s book is not self-published so much as son-published. Those of us who have read Mary’s blog for years remember her son Stryker from the days when he was HWCBN (He Who Cannot Be Named); he didn’t like his mom’s blog or want to be mentioned there, a feeling commonly shared by teens of bloggers. Stryker grew into a young man who recognized his mother’s genius and wanted her to realize her dream of publishing that novel, which had been put on the back burner as Mary balanced mothering, career, and writing. Stryker put wings on magic. Before finishing high school, he worked in secret to have her book published, a graduation gift to her before he left for college. I strongly encourage you to read the story behind At the End of Magic here, where you will also find a link to an excerpt from the book.
Mary has graciously agreed to give an autographed copy of At the End of Magic to one of you! Just leave a comment on this post to enter to win it. I will draw a name from comments left here prior to Saturday, November 8 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time). The winner will be announced on Monday, November 10, 2014.
But that’s not all!
Mary Petrie is going to participate in an online book club in Skype (much like we did with Melissa Westemeier’s book, Kicks Like a Girl; you can read about that here). All you have to do is leave a comment here if you want a spot. Eight lucky participants will join Mary and me (at a date and time to be determined) for an in-depth discussion about At the End of Magic, Mary’s writing process, and any questions you may have. Personally, I can’t wait!
At the End of Magic is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
NOTE from Blog This Mom!®: This book review and giveaway is unsolicited and unpaid. I do not receive any compensation if you purchase At the End of Magic except for the warm and fuzzy feeling I will get knowing that you enjoyed Mary’s book. Besides, I have policies about reviews, you know, because this joint is a serious operation with policies and official legal language.