Title: Crow and Caper, Caper and Crow
Author: Margo Lanagan
In: Under My Hat (Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Easy reading, Fantasy, Witches
Format: Short story
Publisher: Hot Key Books
5th sentence, 74th page: It was subtly colorful and delicately patterned; everything that was so ugly when you were down among it seemed from this distance nicely worked, and human effort seemed rather dear and hopeless, even though it had cleared and scarred and excavated such great tracts of land, ruined them every which way.
When Pen’s only son married, he and his new bride moved far away. This saddened her, because her son had fallen in love with a young woman she thought was normal and who was afraid of Pen’s magical powers. As the birth of her first grandchild approaches, Pen uses her magic to travel a long distance over sea and land to visit them and offer a blessing for the babe, but when she arrives, she discovers things about both her daughter-in-law and her new granddaughter that surprise her.
Every story about witchcraft that I read, whether it’s entirely fantasy-based or based in Wicca, birth and death are integral to the practice and beliefs. Which is why it is fun to read a short story that is all about birth and the turning of the circle.
Pen embarks on an epic journey across the ocean to visit her daughter-in-law and new granddaughter. She plans to do everything in secret and leave again. To greet the new life and welcome it into her world. But, as with all good stories, nothing goes as planned. Which is where the story becomes far more enjoyable.
The point at which nothing goes as planned is also the reminder of family. How important it is, and how acceptance, even after the fact can heal many wounds.
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