The Secret of Magic

  • by Deborah Johnson
  • Narrated by Peter Francis James
  • 14 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1946, a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South.
Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country.
As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun's The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest.
Once down in Mississippi, Regina finds that nothing in the South is as it seems. She must navigate the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past.
The Secret of Magic brilliantly explores the power of stories and those who tell them.

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What the Critics Say

"Johnson offers a completely engaging southern gothic with unforgettable characters in this fictionalized account of a pivotal NAACP case from the 1940s." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A dynamic story about Southerners, black & white

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It's a well-written story that is captivating and touching about race relations in 1945 Mississippi. It's not "in-your-face" or race-biased. It tells of good and bad, black and white. Johnson is able to reveal the wonders and splendors of the state of Mississippi while delving into its troubled history. There is a light at the end of the race tunnel which foretells the positive evolution that is going-on in the South now.
Living in Mississippi today, I am happy to see so many people of all races reading and loving this book! You will too.


What other book might you compare The Secret of Magic to and why?

The obvious answer is To Kill A Mockingbird because it portrays the love, respect, and bond that all good people, black and white, have for each other in the South. It contrasts this with the hatred, stupidity, and cruel acts of others. Combined, they make for a good and rewarding reading.


What about Peter Francis James’s performance did you like?

His voice is clear and easy to understand. He shifts easily between black and white voices without stereotyping.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me want to read Johnson's next book.


Any additional comments?

When is the movie coming-out?

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- Bill Fold "Bill Fold"

John Grisham and Judge Constance Baker Motley would be proud

I was surprised that a book written by a woman with two female protagonists was read by a man, but he did an excellent job. The story was wonderful and very evocative of the time it's based in.
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- Susan Moiseev

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-27-2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio