The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

3.55 (13,085 ratings by Goodreads)
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An imaginative story of a woman caught in an alternate world where she will need to learn the skills of magic to survive
Nora Fischer s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman. During a miserable weekend at a friend s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty. Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It s almost too good to be true.
Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally and a reluctant one at that is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel s student and learning magic herself to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her real life against the dangerous power of love and magic.
For lovers of Lev Grossman's The Magicians series ("The Magicians "and "The Magician King") and Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy ("A Discovery of Witches" and "Shadow of Night")."
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Product details

  • Hardback | 563 pages
  • 160 x 233 x 44mm | 798g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0670023663
  • 9780670023660
  • 1,133,948

Review quote

"Barker weaves together classic fantasy and romantic elements (including shout-outs to "Pride and Prejudice" and hints of "Wuthering Heights") to produce a well-rounded, smooth, and subtle tale."
--"Publishers Weekly"
"Like in Harkness's work, as the novel closes, Barker leaves Nora poised on the brink of a decision that could lead to another adventure. This reviewer can't wait. . . . Readers who love magical fantasy adventures with strong female protagonists will enjoy Barker's novel. And fans of Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" may also want to try this.
--"Library Journal"
"This dark fairy tale has plenty of curb appeal for a wide range of fantasy, time-travel, and alternate-reality fans."
"A marvelous plot, clever dialogue, and complex characters distinguish "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic." With the intimacy of a classic fairy-tale and the rollicking elements of modern epic fantasy, Emily Croy Barker's delightful debut will sweep readers into another world. Fun, seductive, and utterly engrossing, this wonderful tale of magic and adventure is a perfect escape from humdrum reality."
--Deborah Harkness, author of the All Souls Trilogy
"To read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic" is to enter a lush, fantastical dream filled with beauty and strangeness, love and cruelty, playfulness and gravitas. Emily Barker has crafted a wholly imaginative and witty debut novel that is unlike any I've read. Mind candy for those of us raised on Harry Potters!"
--Sara Gruen, author of "Water for Elephants"
"'I wish my life were different. I don't care how.' So begins perpetual grad student and recently jilted Nora Fischer's grand adventure into a wonderfully imaginative world of illusion and real magic that reveals the importance of a curious and open mind, learning and love. Author Emily Croy Barker has great fun toying with our ever-shifting notions of work, beauty, belonging, and reality--crea
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About Emily Croy Barker

After twenty years as a journalist, Emily Croy Barker had great fun turning her writing skills to fiction to produce "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic," her first novel. A graduate of Harvard University, she is currently executive editor at "The American Lawyer" magazine. She lives in New Jersey.
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Rating details

13,085 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 23% (3,000)
4 33% (4,325)
3 26% (3,428)
2 12% (1,590)
1 6% (742)
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