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The Limits of Enchantment by Graham Joyce
The Limits of Enchantment centers around Fern Cullen and her adoptive mother, Mammy, who live in the Leicestershire area during the 1960s. Mammy is a self-styled midwife, herbalist, and folk medicine woman and she's passing her art to Fern. This is during the time when science and folk tradition collide head on and the government is eager to replace the paganism and mysterious potions of folk medicine with the National Health Service. As the aged Mammy suffers injuries from those who fear her and lies in a hospital, Fern is left to find her own way. It's a world she shares with hippies, although Fern experiments with drugs to learn from her hallucinations rather than use them to avoid the real world. Fern must either find a way to continue the folk traditions or succumb to the pressure to join the mainstream. Graham Joyce's novel has received positive reviews with SFRevu.com saying, "As ever in Joyce's work, the mystical is held back from the reader, never explicitly alluded to but is instead an ever present undercurrent to the actions of the characters. And, as ever, Joyce effortlessly makes us care enormously about what happens to his characters."