Gilbert Cruz
September 22, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Magic Time (Book - Doug Marlette)

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Doug Marlette
publisher
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

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.

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