Cast a Spell

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Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993 - Fiction - 195 pages
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After an early childhood of desertion and betrayal, Raemunde Howard is sent from Chicago to New York to live with her woe-is-me grandmother, who is already busy raising Rae's two cousins, Carrie and Lila. The three girls grow up together, united by the "common enemy" that this grandmother represents. Carrie and Lila attempt to civilize Rae by harnessing her unbecoming obsession with magic. The encourage her work as a fortune-teller at community functions, where she tells people things they don't want to hear. Then they watch her marry a succession of men and rise to fame as a world-class conjuror who sprinkles her spells with a little bit of Yiddish.
Now Rae is Miz Magic, a magician with her own children's TV show, and cousin Carrie is jealously determined to dig up some dirt to sell to a scandal rag. "Rae was a strange girl," Carrie writes to the Sunshine Publishing Company. "Rae is a strange woman. Does she dabble in the occult? In black magic? I'll find out - of that you can be certain."
Miz Magic, the central mystery of Cast a Spell, is not psychic but observant; she learns that tricks and children keep her this side of tragedy. In Rae, Pesetsky has created a remarkably stalwart character, who serves to warn us that every point of view has its limitations and distortions and that what is touted as scandal just might be common pain.

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Cast a spell

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The eccentric Miz Magic, Raemunde Howard, is the beguiling character at the heart of Pesetsky's ( Confessions of a Bad Girl , LJ 4/1/89) latest novel. Obsessed with magic since early childhood ... Read full review

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About the author (1993)

Writer and educator Bette Pesetsky graduated from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. She has written several novels and two collections of short stories. Her stories have appeared The New Yorker, Paris Review and Ontario Review. All her books have been listed as Notable Books of the New York Times, and one, Midnight Sweets, was named one of the five best novels of 1987 by the Los Angeles Times.

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