This story takes place in the world of KJ’s previous book ‘Coming Home.’ That was about a charming teacher, Sam, falling for an American actress, Abby, and her daughter, Grace. It made my end of 2019 list as the surprise hit of the year. So I was really excited to learn that this was a sort-of follow up to that. In this one, we get a front row seat to the life of Sam’s best friend, Cath.
Cath is a fun character. There was a scene early on that was described so well that it appeared to me as if it were a movie. She was driving in her car, expertly balancing a coffee in hand, and maneuvering though speed bumps to find a space in the school parking lot. Then she exits and sways her hips toward the buildings like she owns the place.
I didn’t look at the blurb before I started reading this. I did read it after, and I don’t think it really expresses the main aspect (theme?) of this book. I understand the ambiguity as it would spoil things. But I have to say that I was surprised at the direction this took and I’m not entirely certain that it was for me.
The story was written well and I liked the characters. It was great to see Sam and Abby again and there was even some relationship progression for those two. The book had a good balance of Cath transitioning out of her serial dating past, re-establishing a relationship with her parents, maintaining a meaningful friendship with her best friend, and navigating a controversial work place romance.
I’m just more into realism than this story afforded. It was a bit fantastical. I’m sure most people will absolutely adore ‘The Art of Magic.’ It has everything you could possibly want. Instant chemistry. Hesitation to be vulnerable. Denying feelings. An ‘Invisible Thread’ (As Taylor Swift would put it). Or perhaps really visible threads in this case. It was just a little too out there for me, personally.
Overall, I enjoyed this. It was mostly fluffy. There was some conflict, but not really any super angst.
I recommend this to people who love to read about romance, education, English teachers, Art teachers, dealing with sick parents, empathic people, and rotary phones.
I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.