Godmother Night Paperback – 7 Nov 1996
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Set in an alternate world, this modern fairy tale tells the story of two women, Laurie and Jaqe, who become lovers but are separated by Mother Night, a small elderly lady, who is death. Along with her gang of riotous bikers, she cruises through their lives, leaving a trail of heartbreak and joy.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
At first the meetings with Mother Night occur rather infrequently and (except for the initial one, in which she introduces Laurie and Jaqe, the two lovers-and-parents-to-be) seem to have little direct impact on the two women’s lives. Most of the first third of the book is devoted to the pair’s struggles with their parents, Laurie’s graduate-school studies, etc., which require no fantasy elements at all. Mother Night and other fairy-tale features are more strongly involved in the second third of the book, in which the couple deals with Jaqe’s sudden, powerful urge to have a baby—but they still feel rather separate; close to one another as they are portrayed as being, Jaqe and Laurie never talk to each other about the mysterious events in which they individually have taken part. Only in the last part of the book, told from the point of view of Kate, Jaqe and Laurie’s daughter and Mother Night’s goddaughter, do the realistic and the magical fully come together… with a definite emphasis on the magical.
Of the two aspects of the story, I was more interested in the fantasy one, so I found the first half or so of the book rather slow going. I had no objection to Laurie and Jaqe as characters, but I wasn’t strongly attracted to them either. On the other hand, I found Mother Night extremely well done—perhaps not surprisingly, since Pollack, as a Tarot expert, is bound to be well acquainted with archetypes. I also found Kate, the daughter/goddaughter, more interesting than her parents, as she faces moral dilemmas brought about by her magical heritage. The last third of the book, focusing on these two and their relationship, became very powerful for me. Overall, therefore, I would recommend the book, though different parts of it may appeal to different readers.
I love how this book worked on several levels simultaneously. The love relationships (lovers, parents, friends) are heartbreakingly real and believable. The overlaying mystical/fantastical elements are like beautiful poetry: true as any truth, but dwelling outside the mundane. The layers lay together like an unfolding rose, impossibly perfect, impossibly beautiful. After Godmother Night, other love stories seem shallow and banal.
This is my favorite book of all time.