Book Review: The Magic of Ordinary Days

Book Review

The Magic of Ordinary Days

By Ann Howard Creel

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Penguin Books

Description from Amazon:

Olivia Dunne, a studious minister’s daughter who dreams of becoming an archaeologist, never thought that the drama of World War II would affect her quiet life in Denver. But when an exhilarating flirtation reshapes her life, she finds herself in a rural Colorado outpost, married to a man she hardly knows. Overwhelmed by loneliness, Olivia tentatively tries to establish a new life, finding muchneeded friendship and solace in two Japanese American sisters who are living at a nearby internment camp. When Olivia unwittingly becomes an accomplice to a crime and is faced with betrayal, she finally confronts her own yearnings and comes to understand what she truly believes about the nature of trust and love.

My Review: I know a book is a favorite when I forgo sleep to keep reading. The Magic of Ordinary Days had me up until the wee hours of the morning.  Arranged marriages have always intrigued me and this novel brings to life the challenges and struggles that might come about in such a union. The development of Livy and Ray’s relationship was definitely my favorite part of the story. I loved Ray’s solid, quiet character and his commitment to Livy, even though she was essentially a stranger pregnant with another man’s baby. And Livy was a good example of not relying on a man for her happiness. She took her happiness in her own hands and sought for things she knew would bring her joy (without sacrificing her marriage).

Favorite Quotes:

“Sometimes you do find what you’re looking for closer than you think.”


Livy: “Don’t you ever wonder what else is out there…beyond the farm?

Ray: Sometimes

Livy: Aren’t you curious how other people lived?

Ray: I enjoyed the drive, but i like coming back to my place. Sleeping on my land.

Livy: Your land. Ha! Seems every war in human history is about owning a land. I liked the Indian view that we’re just temporary guardians of the land where we lived.

Ray: It’s not temporary to me.

Livy: But your family just owned this land for less than a hundred years. In a span of a history that’s nothing.

Ray: In a span of a life…that’s near everything.”


“He touched me as if I were the curved and delicate handle of a china cup, but he held me tightly just as I was, flesh and blood and full of human flaws and fears. In his arms I wasn’t a girl dreaming of sailing the high seas, and I wasn’t a farm kid jumping the train, either, but a fully grown woman riding the soft side of a crescent moon.”

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!

five-star rating

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