Publication Date: February 14, 2006
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The narrator of Linda Ferri’s charismatic debut is a fortunate daughter, growing up with her family in Italy and France, leading a life of wonder and plenty. There is horseback riding. There are late-night ice cream runs. There are neighbors, friends, and eventually, boys. For the time being, suffering means tickle torture, a lost turtle, or a bossy friend.
But, as she grows, the world around her begins to sharpen. Shadows appear and doubts begin to creep. And finally, the dangers of the adult world come into full view, first with the Paris riots of May, 1968, and then when tragedy strikes much closer to home.
Refreshingly joyful, full of the things that children do, Enchantments is also something much more profound: an exploration of the lasting significance of the impressions of our youth.
Casey is professor of English Literature at the University of Virginia.