A Gift of Magic by Lois Duncan
Finished: Oct. 17, 2007
Reason for Reading: Lois Duncan is a new favourite author and I'm reading her books
First Published: 1971
"Once upon a time in a house by the sea, lay an old woman, a special old woman who had the gift of magic."
Comments: An old woman lays dying and she bequeaths each of her grandchildren a gift: the gift of music, the gift of dance and the gift of magic. Nancy received the gift of magic and she comes to realize that using her gift for evil is very easy but to use her gift for good is so much harder. Lois Duncan delivers again! This is another wonderful book. Most of the book reads like a typical teen novel centering around the relationships of the siblings with each other and their recently divorced mother. Then the magic element is introduced and the atmosphere turns creepy. I've learnt I cannot predict a Lois Duncan ending and once again the story took a turn I hadn't expected and the very last sentence of the book is fabulous.
I am really impressed with Duncan as an author. One thing that really impresses me is how her novels written in the sixties and seventies are not dated. Other YA authors should take note. Duncan does not use slang nor make pop-culture references and technology is very rarely mentioned. Occasionally there is a tiny indication that gives it away such as a mention of the Vietnam War or as in this novel with a mention of a Ford Fairlane. But her work (that I've read so far) is timeless and as relevant today as it was 30-40 years ago.