Elizabeth Ann Scarboroughis The Godmother puts a new twist in contemporary fantasy with the assertion that fairy godmothers exist here-and-now and they have magical power that allow them to intervene in real-world problems. So, what if someone wished for a fairy godmother to help the entire city of Seattle? An overworked, overstressed social worker named Rose Samson does just that when she makes an idle wish on a mustard seed. Felicity Fortune of Godmothers Anonymous shows up to help. Rose Samson is neither fashion-model beautiful nor a twit and she happily joins forces with Felicity Fortune, a "Godmother" who demonstrates that Grimm's fairy tales are still relevant in our humdrum modern world. What nobody in the fairytales ever says directly, though, is that fairy godmothers are on a magical budget so every possible way they can get human beings or animals to assist each other they will try rather than using up their magical means. Still, Felicity encounters many strangely familiar situations. A pretty stablehand named Cindy Ellis is mistreated by her cruel stepsisters. A rock star's daughter, scared of the super model she married, runs away from home and encounters seven Vietnam veterans at an encounter session and retreat. One of them might be a big bad wolf, who knows? The hardest case is that of two children whose parents have become so alienated and stressed out that they ignore the needs of the kids. The children are offered help by a man who builds a gingerbread house at the mall every Christmas. He is the modern day equivalent of a wicked witch or Bluebeard (which is considered a fairytale). He is the scariest of all criminals among us--a child molester and murderer. The good news is, this is a story so we are going to spoil it for you enough to tell you that the kids get away and the wicked man gets what's coming to him. The story is grounded by being set in and around a social-services agency in Seattle and by having a central character who is sympathetic and realisticobut the author still manages to have a lot of fun with the idea. In all their encounters, Rose and Felicity try to blend their magical aid with realistic human initiative and social responsibility. Scarborough's fully-realized settings and the humor built into the mix of magical solutions and grim reality make this work an entertaining and compelling read.