Pleasure & Pain are this month’s theme here at THEGAYUK and The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett has got plenty of both. It is one of my favourite all-time books, one that I have read time and time again.

The story is about Sabine who we meet when she looses her gay husband Parsifal unexpectedly. Sure she knew he had HIV, but expected it to be a few more years before his death.

Parsifal was a great magician and Sabine his loyal assistant.

Parsifal had been in love with Phan who just a short time ago had died from AIDS.

Parsifal knowing that he was HIV positive and that he had no family decided to marry his life long friend Sabine. This was so that she would be entitled to his inheritance and because on a deep level he truly loved her.

After Parsifal’s death the lawyer explains to Sabine that Parsifal has family in Alliance, Nebraska. Sabine is grieving and shocked at this revelation. Why didn´t she know about them? Why did he never talk about them and deny all knowledge of having a family?

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We join Sabine on an emotional journey as she meets this family and discovers more about Parsifal´s childhood. During the days Sabine learns more about Parsifal, and in the nights she dreams meeting first Phan and eventually Parsifal.

Along the way Sabine learns more about herself and realises that Parsifal has given her a most precious gift, more precious than money and security she thought he´d left her.

This book becomes an absolute page-turner as we connect with Sabine and need to know what will happen next.

The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett is available to purchase on Amazon and is essential reading for anyone who’s ever loved and lost and then found love again.