A quirky debut from a gifted young novelist about what it means to be a daughter, a patient, a lover and a human being who can carry on after a massive loss.
What’s a girl supposed to do after her mother kills herself by walking into the Don River with her pockets full of unpolished zircon stones? Maggie removes the zircon stones from the inventory of the family’s New Age shop and opens up for another day of business. Then her blackouts begin, as do the visits from a mysterious customer who offers help for Maggie’s blackouts and her project of investigating her mother’s past in the American South. Is Maggie breaking down in the way her mother did, or is her “madness” a distinctive show of grief? Nobody really knows, not her father, her boyfriend or her psychiatrist, and especially not Maggie, who has to make some crazy decisions in order to work to feel sane again. A vivid look at the various confusions that can set in after a trauma and an insightful, gently funny portrait of a woman in her early twenties, especially relatable to readers who grew up in the eighties and nineties, Magnified World dramatizes the battle between the head and the heart and the limitations of both in unlocking something as complicated as loss.
CBC Books said “A poignant exploration of love, grief and lucidity.”
Grace O’Connell is “a beautiful writer. Line by line, her prose is sensate and evocative, toying with words and images and reframing them in wonderfully counterintuitive, surprising ways.” - The Walrus