- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (August 30, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143119958
- ISBN-13: 978-0143119951
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 304 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Magic of Ordinary Days: A Novel Paperback – August 30, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
This is the first adult novel by an author who has written two well-received YA books. Livvy Dunne is a thoughtful 24-year-old with yearnings toward archeology, who in a rash moment in WWII Colorado becomes pregnant by a dashing officer and is forced into a marriage of convenience by her sternly puritanical minister father. She goes off to Ray Singleton's remote farm knowing nothing about him except that he is lonely, utterly inexperienced around women and touchingly devoted to her. The relationship between the two, graced by some delicate, perceptive and fine-boned writing, is at the heart of the book, and Creel gets it all just right. She is also skilled at evoking the peculiar remoteness from the war of the high plains country, where farmers were regarded as an integral part of the war effort and even got enough gas to drive around for pleasure, a rare privilege in 1944. Lonesome Livvy yearns for more communicative companionship, however, and grows close to a pair of charming Nisei sisters at an internment camp and this is where plot devices begin to play an unwarranted role. For Rose and Lorelei, it turns out, will do anything for love and involve Livvy in what develops into a dangerous (and inherently improbable) exercise in deceit and manipulation. The book recovers its stride for a poignant if rather hasty finish, but the calm spell cast by the tale of Livvy and Ray, which would have been perfectly satisfactory to maintain the book, has been broken.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"...a gentle but powerful novel, combining a story of bittersweet love with a poignant account of the journey toward self-realization..." -- Book Page, July 2001
"...blends historical richness and a fine sense of place...a satisfying emotional depth...a light, precisely written novel." -- Kirkus May 15, 2001
"The Magic of Ordinary Days" is a simple tale, well-told, featuring some lively and believable characters and gorgeous, stark landscapes. -- Boulder Daily Camera, July 22, 2001
"This is the ideal book to read while sipping lemonade on the porch swing this summer." -- The Gazette, August 5, 2001 --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
Her prose is surprisingly descriptive, but without being flowery - somewhat like the desolate beauty Olivia finds in the country. With deft language, Creel sets us in rural America during WWII, and shows us what it was like to be behind the scenes, to farm, to live, to work, to exist, when all the world was focus so far away.
Watching Olivia change into who she didn’t know she wanted to be, was magnificent. I enjoyed the subtle growth in her character. Told in first person, Creel really lets us see the turmoil inside this girl. As for the secondary characters, each was complex, distinct, and well-written.
There is a bite to this romance that comes from the true-to-life mistakes and frailness of the human condition. I highly recommend this work. It was a fantastic read.
I also enjoyed the writing itself. The way Creel expressed things often hit me as just the way I've always thought about something, but didn't know how to express it. Other times, the description was just so beautiful I had to stop and marvel at a phrase or sentence. (I do not usually do such things!).
I haven't done it justice, but I think any reader will be completely absorbed. The book left me wishing I could go back in time and live when life was a little simpler, and people made more effort to be kind and caring towards each other. Ray is probably the best romantic character ever written - he restores one's faith in people.