Magic for Marigold

Discuss the author's literature and life.
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Wild Roses
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Magic for Marigold

Post by Wild Roses » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:55 pm

I finally read this book for the first time. Has anybody else read it? What are your thoughts?

I think it was an interesting experiment for LMM. Marigold is more the observer, rather than the participater. It can be tough to write the observers sympathetically and I don't think LMM fully succeeded.

What struck me with this book was just how much of it was laced in overtones of bitterness and snobbery. I think LMM was trying to recapture a youthful innocence like those featured in early Anne or TSG/TGR but it doesn't show in the end result because we are always aware that Marigold is always aware of how jaded her family and life is. Which isn't to say that Marigold found that to be tragic, but she certainly took it to heart.

I do think parts of the book are successful and the descriptions and characterizations are spot-on, but the book feels too recycled. During certain points in the book, I was thinking "oh, this is like XY or XX character in _______." Mostly, the book just feels lifeless. Except for a very few sections, the book lacks energy in its writing which makes a passive heroine seem even more passive as a result. Anne is passive in her later books, but there's a zip to the writing that makes you forget it because you are wondering what will happen next.

Kilmeny of the Orchard has overtones of a fairytale to it which sort of saves the book from being a complete failure. (It is also jawdroppingly racist and classist in ways that MFG at its snobbiest isn't: I'm not happy that stuff is there but it also makes any reread of KotO interesting simply because it gets my blood boiling) MFM doesn't have that so I'd have to put it as my least favorite LMM. Which surprises me, because I never thought LMM could write an even more forgettable heroine than Kilmeny.

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Re: Magic for Marigold

Post by Juliegoose » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:25 pm

I've read Magic for Marigold a couple times, the first when I was about ten or eleven and I really liked it. I loved that Marigold's character was so young. I will admit the book is similar to many of Maud's novels - young girl missing at least one parent who is extremely imaginative and has a lot of family pressure - but I thought it definitely had its original elements as well. The moment when Great Grandmother dies and Marigold sees her and is able to call her "Edith" stuck with me since the first time I read it, and the other girl sticking her head in the gate because they told her not to was simply hilarious. I think there was a lot to be said for Marigold, even if it had the replayed elements of many of Maud's stories.

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