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Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
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Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
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The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
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Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer

Halloween Bingo - Magical Realism - for reasons

Destiny's Cards - Joan K. Robinson




I read books for a lot of different reasons, as I'm sure we all do.  Rarely is the reason "Because I have to" now that I'm out of school, but there are all kinds of reasons other than just "I want to."


Disclosure:  I purchased the Kindle edition of this book at full retail price.  The author and I have known each other, more or less, for over 50 years -- we went to high school together.  I have not discussed this book or any of her other writings with her, nor has she discussed my books with me.  We have very similar political and philosophical beliefs.


I went into the reading knowing that Joan had not intended to publish her books for much more than personal satisfaction.  She is a practicing witch and active in the local pagan community.  There is more than a little of the autobiographical in Destiny's Cards, though I'm not sure how much and won't speculate.


The author inherited a gift for reading fortunes from her maternal grandmother.

Robinson, Joan K.. Destiny's Cards (p. 269). Rowan Press, Inc.. Kindle Edition.


Therefore, no rating, because I don't feel I can be genuinely fair and unbiased.


The main character, Bryony Maus, has the gift of being able to read cards.  Not tarot cards, but their modern descendants, ordinary playing cards.  Her readings are very accurate for other people, but not so reliable for herself.  As a result, she makes a lot of mistakes in life by seeing more of what she wants to see into her readings for herself and less of the warnings she should pay attention to.


Joan's writing is decent -- she was, by the way, editor of our high school yearbook, so she had some good training -- and the production quality of the Kindle edition is clean.  With some serious editing, this could have been a charming and interesting story.


The two weaknesses are that the characters aren't fully developed and that the plot is  contrived to include every possible mistake that could be ascribed to a misreading of the cards.  Bryony's naivete is extreme, her innocence not quite believable.  The guys she has relationships with are too obviously jerks, but she never sees it, never learns to look for their faults.  Is she TSTL?  Well, not really.  Too trusting, maybe.  Or maybe I'm making excuses for her!  ;-)


The romance that brings about the HEA ending doesn't begin to build until more than halfway into the book, so this can't really be classified as romance.  It's almost more of a family saga, focused on Bryony with lots of influence from the dynamics of living with a magical gift that few around her will acknowledge.


Definitely not a "can't put it down!" thriller, but I didn't feel at all cheated at the end.