So glad finally to have got around to consuming this third part of Campbell’s magic realism trilogy. I have been looking forward to it for ages.
Like the first two books, it is set in the Florida Panhandle, where Jesus co-exists happily with haints and hexes. This time the story rests with the ‘sweet kitty’, Lena, her conjure woman Eulalie being … indisposed.
The local police intend to kill Eulalie and stop her meddling with their illegal schemes. But she is a very powerful conjure woman, so Lena believes there is just a chance Eulalie may have survived their efforts to murder her. Meanwhile, it is a dark time for anyone who tries to speak truth to power, and increasingly evil deeds are done by those who should uphold the law – all observed by Lena. Events are, indeed, pushed and pulled into shape by Lena in ways that will be familiar to anyone who has ever been manipulated by a cat.
It has to be said that the cat narrator stretches credulity in places, and sometimes leads to a little muddle about point of view. But this is magic realism, and there’s a lot going on in this short book, so stick with it and enjoy the ride.
If you haven’t come across this series of three short books before then do start at the beginning. They are now issued as a complete set which you can find under the title ‘Florida Folk Magic Stories’. If you like magic realism and/or tales of the Deep South in the USA (with the Ku Klux Klan an’ all) you will certainly enjoy these well-written little volumes, full of intrigue, clever critturs (perhaps unsurprisingly, Joe Moore is my hero) and comeuppances. You can safely invest in the box set.
Link to The Zon (UK) here: