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The Secret of Magic | [Deborah Johnson]

The Secret of Magic

In 1946, a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South. Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country.
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Publisher's Summary

In 1946, a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South.

Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country.

As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun's The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest.

Once down in Mississippi, Regina finds that nothing in the South is as it seems. She must navigate the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past.

The Secret of Magic brilliantly explores the power of stories and those who tell them.

©2014 Deborah Johnson (P)2014 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"Johnson offers a completely engaging southern gothic with unforgettable characters in this fictionalized account of a pivotal NAACP case from the 1940s." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (42 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bill Fold columbus, ms United States 02-10-14
    Bill Fold columbus, ms United States 02-10-14 Member Since 2012

    Bill Fold

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A dynamic story about Southerners, black & white"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It's a well-written story that is captivating and touching about race relations in 1945 Mississippi. It's not "in-your-face" or race-biased. It tells of good and bad, black and white. Johnson is able to reveal the wonders and splendors of the state of Mississippi while delving into its troubled history. There is a light at the end of the race tunnel which foretells the positive evolution that is going-on in the South now.
    Living in Mississippi today, I am happy to see so many people of all races reading and loving this book! You will too.


    What other book might you compare The Secret of Magic to and why?

    The obvious answer is To Kill A Mockingbird because it portrays the love, respect, and bond that all good people, black and white, have for each other in the South. It contrasts this with the hatred, stupidity, and cruel acts of others. Combined, they make for a good and rewarding reading.


    What about Peter Francis James’s performance did you like?

    His voice is clear and easy to understand. He shifts easily between black and white voices without stereotyping.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me want to read Johnson's next book.


    Any additional comments?

    When is the movie coming-out?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, United States 06-13-14
    Amazon Customer ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, United States 06-13-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting enough"
    What made the experience of listening to The Secret of Magic the most enjoyable?

    The magic aspect of the story was a very fun concept to read about.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The ending seemed a bit anticlimactic and the magic tie in with the book fell short to what I was initially expecting. The narrator did a decent job with the voices, but I would've liked a bit more variation to decipher who was talking(other than the character name being said)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer oTTAWA, ON, Canada 03-08-14
    Jennifer oTTAWA, ON, Canada 03-08-14 Member Since 2011
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    "What a winner!"
    What did you love best about The Secret of Magic?

    Johnson has created an evocative story of life in 1940's Mississippi, which not only seems to faithfully capture the flavour of the time and space, but also draws the listener into a "can't put it down" first class mystery. Though dealing with difficult subjects and episodes, she manages to avoid sensationalism, or graphic descriptions of human excess -- a rare find in contemporary writing, but one I appreciated. One of my best 'reads' in some time -- highly recommended.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Stop, look and listen...."


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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