Magic Time (2006) If the most overused phrase from a 20th-century author is F. Scott Fitzgerald's "There are no second acts in American lives," then a close runner-up… 2006-09-19 Fiction Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Book Review

Magic Time (2006)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Sep 19, 2006; Writer: Doug Marlette; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

If the most overused phrase from a 20th-century author is F. Scott Fitzgerald's ''There are no second acts in American lives,'' then a close runner-up must be Thomas Wolfe's ''You can't go home again.'' The latter could apply to Carter Ransom, a Mississippi-born NYC journalist who returns to his small hometown of Troy following the bombing of an art museum. That tragedy brings back memories of the 1964 summer when he fell in love with a civil rights worker killed in a church bombing — a crime that just happens to be getting re-tried in Troy. With its commingling of personal secrets and national shame, Doug Marlette's Magic Time happily proves Wolfe wrong.

Originally posted Sep 22, 2006 Published in issue #899 Sep 29, 2006 Order article reprints