Last year I read Lisa Goldstein’s The Red Magician and was overjoyed when Tachyon sent me Ivory Apples. Once again, Goldstein writes a cozy feel-good novel imbued with magic. This book is heartwarming, accessible, and inclusive. It engages with the idea of fandom as much as it looks at complicated family dynamics. This novel follows Ivy whose great-aunt Maeve is famous writer Adela Martin, writer of a fantasy classic called Ivory Apples. Her readers had consumed her works in a very ‘fandom-like’ fashion, now becoming a familiar trend in a post-Potter world. The protagonists in this novel are very young and there are many elements involving school, growing, learning as well as finding out parts of oneself for the first time. Ivy, like her Great-aunt treasures the craft of writing and keeps it close to her heart even when questioned about it in school. Ivy’s relationship with Maeve is also founded on literature, as she received most of the children’s classics from her, and somehow Ivy’s whole world seems to be around Ivory Apples through the engagement with Maeve’s fans (and seeing as they are hard to avoid, some haters as well). The narrative takes a turn once the line between real life and fantasy is blurred. In the process of being thrown into the unknown, Ivy grows even closer to her family. It’s a wonderful bonding novel, ideal for anyone ages 10 and up! I see this being a children’s book, YA, and adult fantasy all at once.
Ivory Apples will be released October 15, 2019 and is currently available for pre-order.