The Magician’s Assistant
Kirkus Reviews says: "Having produced wonders in two earlier novels, Patchett here conjures up a striking tale of pain and enchantment as an L.A. woman, who lost the love of her life after a few short months of marriage, finds unexpected consolation from her husband's family--a family she never knew he had."
From Publisher’s Weekly:
After working as his assistant for more than 20 years, Sabine marries her beloved boss, Parcifal, knowing that he’s gay and has just lost his lover. What she doesn’t find out until after his death from AIDS is that Parcifal was actually Guy Fettera from Alliance, Neb., and had a family he never spoke about. Karen Ziemba creates an appropriately light tone for the narrator, despite some dark events that Sabine discovers when she visits Parcifal’s sweet, dysfunctional family. She crafts clear, flat Midwest accents for the magician’s mother and sisters and her pace and annunciation are excellent. Ziemba’s men all sound alike, but they play minimal roles. She is an experienced and professional reader with just the right stuff for Patchett’s 1997 novel, which probes the complex motives of Parcifal and his assistant.