Magel’s Daughter

| November 20, 2014


Magel's Daughter


“Everyone in the Olina family, living and dead, knows that Magel keeps human body parts in her freezer.”

From the beginning of the novel, the provocative story defies the Minnesota-nice stereotype while inhabiting the territory of Fargo, the movie and mini-series, in all its darkly humorous glory. Magel’s Daughter highlights the deadly manipulation of matriarchal power within a Norwegian family in northern Minnesota, a chilly world of hallucination, incest, and severed heads. It is wickedly funny with a touch of magical realism.

On the surface, it is an episodic blitz through the last days of Karin Brix’s sanity. By the end, Karin has lost it, and it’s all her mother’s fault. Magel is a classic femme fatale who has grown old and spoiled everyone’s lives just like her mother, and her mother’s mother. Magel is the reigning matriarch, and Karin is on her way to becoming just like her, though struggling to reclaim herself as an artist after years of raising two sons in an unsatisfying marriage. Karin is assisted in her endeavors by lively hallucinations of her ancestors. And during Karin’s struggles, her father’s glass eye weaves through her imagination as the only sound counsel amid the chaos.

This is a work of unbridled inventiveness and rare insight that takes the reader on an unexpected joy ride through uncharted waters. Buckle up! And prepare to be astonished.


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