Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Loves, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings - by Lydia Sherrer

Gotta love a magical librarian.

Lily Singer only had a vague sense that she was different growing up in Alabama with her mother, step-father, and step-siblings. She knew little about her birth father and her mother was evasive about him. Feeling like an outsider, she left home as soon as she could and ultimately became a librarian landing a job in the Archives at the Agnes Scott College McCain Library. The description of her office was enough to make me question the verisimilitude of the story, although the College and library are indeed real places.
Her office was a spacious room on the first floor, with a high ceiling and expansive windows. Tall bookshelves covered most of the other three walls, and a large, mahogany desk dominated the center of the room...The desk's dark wood surface was polished to a shine...
Also hard to believe is that not only has twenty-five year old Lily landed the prestigious position of Administrative Coordinator/Archives Manager, she did so without ever earning an advanced degree. While she has "four-years undergraduate work-study in the stacks" as well as a "BA in history and a minor in classics", generally such a position in an academic library in the 21st century would require, at the very least, a Master's of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree. In Lily's case it looks like nepotism of the wizarding sort played a large part in her procuring the position.
Of course, Lily's love of books, organized nature, and library experience weren't the only reasons behind Madam Barrington's choice. The real reason was she'd needed someone to to take over as curator of the "Basement"- a secret archive beneath the McCain Library containing a private collection of occult books on magic, wizardry, and arcane science. Being a wizard herself, Madam Barrington had recognized Lily's innate ability soon after she'd begun her freshman year. 
This book contains two stories (or "episodes"). In each we find Lily using both her wisdom and her wizardry to solve a magical problem.

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