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- Publisher: DAW BOOKS
- Format: Paperback | 433 pages
- Dimensions: 104mm x 168mm x 34mm | 240g
- Publication date: 3 May 2011
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 075640682X
- ISBN 13: 9780756406820
- Sales rank: 386,919
When Maggie Graham lost her job and her apartment fell to pieces, she decided to flee New York City for a while and hide in Vermont, at the Crossroads Theatre. She hadn't planned to audition, yet soon found herself part of the summer stock cast. But her previous acting experiences couldn't prepare her for the theater's unusual staff-and its handsome, almost otherworldly director. Read Barbara Ashford's blogs and other content on the Penguin Community.
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Barbara Ashford grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and began her theatrical debut at an early age. After performing all over in converted playhouses from barns to churches to used car showrooms, she gave up performance to write musical theatre. Eventually she returned to fiction, using her theatre background to create the novel that became "Spellcast." Barbara Ashford can be found at barbara-ashford.com.
By April Steenburgh 07 May 2011
It is obviously a sign from above that Maggie needs a change of scene when she is not only fired, but the ceiling of her bathroom collapses on top of her while she tries to take a consolatory bath. She packs a bag and leaves New York City for Vermont, intent on finding a Bed and Breakfast. What she finds instead is the Crossroads Theater and its enigmatic director Rowan.
Spellcast is a fairy tale, and like all the best fairy tales it is dark and dangerous, and examines all of the things about ourselves we would rather not look at. It also glimmers with wide eyed wonder and rustles with restless energy. It is impossible to put down.
Ashford's love of theater is apparent and will touch everyone who has had the luck to walk across the stage, and everyone who has ever wanted to. She captures the camaraderie of the theater perfectly, with all of its dysfunctions and drama. Her descriptions of things I enjoyed so much when I was younger, my time spent engaged in summer theater, tickled a smile onto my face and marched goosebumps down my arms. It was perfect. And I didn't realize I had enjoyed theater as much as I had, or that I missed it. It is an amazing author that can appeal to memories that are almost 20 years old and get me to recall them so vividly.
And it isn't just theater. It is family, and friends, relationships and work and all those little and not so little things that fill our lives and make us who we are.
Spellcast can be a very personal read, if you let it. And I encourage you greatly to do so.
There's a vast but little known overlap between fans of fantasy and fans of musical theater, and Barbara Ashford hits the sweet spot on both with SPELLCAST. It's warm, humorous, emotional, heartfelt, and full of magic. Curse you, Barbara, for making me cry! And for getting 'Some Enchanted Evening' stuck in my head all week. -- New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn [A] charming fantasy novel...left me wanting more, in fine theatrical tradition. -- Locus One of those rare gems...something completely unique in the pantheon of novels I have read over a lifetime. It is a love story, a fantasy, a mystery, and a theatre book all rolled up into one. -- New Myths