Saturday, September 6, 2014

Spells At The Crossroads-Barbara Ashford

Spells At The Crossroads
Barbara Ashford
Daw, Sep 2 2014, $8.99
ISBN: 9780756410216

“Spellcast.”  Following the loss of her job and the ceiling plaster in her New York apartment caving in, Maggie Graham escapes to Vermont.  When she learns of summer stock roles performing at the Crossroads Theatre in a barn just outside Dale, Maggie auditions and is stunned when she obtains roles in three shows.  Maggie finds the troupe odd yet endearing; but most disturbing is director Rowan Mackenzie.  He never seems to leave the theater and somehow casts a person in roles they need to perform on stage and in life rather than what they planned on. 

“Spellcrossed.”  Still in Vermont, Maggie replaced Rowan Mackenzie as director of the non-profit Crossroads Theatre.  The summer stock season has been difficult on her because of the cast.  The obnoxious professionals scorn Maggie and are nasty towards the bewildered amateurs; while the children act like an out of control horde.  She considers using the magic she found at the converted old barn, but knows her first mission is selling tickets if she wants to get her boss out of her theater.  However, ignoring the magic proves an unviable option when she finds herself drawn into a past personal mystery that needs resolution before the first curtain call. 

This reprint of the opening two Graham Green Mountain State acts stars a mesmerizing individual who casts a charm spell on readers; as magical Maggie keeps these wonderful whimsical witty works focused.  The theater’s otherworldly elements heal the lead first on stage and second as the field general director while subtly enhancing this second chance at making dreams real.

Harriet Klausner

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