The Godmother by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough


FantasyThe Godmother by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

The GodmotherElizabeth Ann Scarborough; 1994WorldCat

Rose Samson works for Seattle Family Services. The budget has been cut and the government stance has changed. It gets more difficult each day to help all the people in Seattle who need help. The number of people needing help grows as Boeing and Microsoft lay off employees. She cannot prevent children being put back in a home with abusive parents. An 18-year-old orphan is now too old for foster care so she tries to help him find a job so he doesn’t have to live in the streets. Mental institutions are closed and the patients are discharged, then the funds to help them live on their own is diverted to other government expenses. The list continues. But Rose continues her work, helping where and when she can.

She is so tired of running into an unfriendly system. She sees so many people in need. While visiting a friend’s shop, Rose finds a mustard seed necklace. While holding it and musing to her friend, she wishes for someone to fix Seattle, perhaps a fairy godmother. The next day her friend has left for a trip and puts the shop in the capable hands of Felicity Fortune. Felicity is here in response to Rose’s wish. She can’t fix all of Seattle’s problems, but Felicity can help some of Rose’s clients and make some tweaks in the system as well. New needs arise as well – between Rose and Felicity can help save the lives of 3 more children who have been abandoned.

The Godmother is cute urban fantasy with a serious theme. Elizabeth Ann Scarborough makes a disclaimer at the beginning of the book that the family services department she portrays is not real and that Seattle’s services are not as bad as the one she shows the reader. But the author shows us what could happen if administration were to be affected as in her book. She has purposely put all the bad elements that can occur together in one place at one time.

The problems the characters face are real. There are gangs, homeless, poor shelter conditions, pederasts, orphans, murderers, and broken families. Yet this is a light book. The problems are not ignored. But they’re not described in vivid detail. There is humor with Felicity Fortune and “true romance” blossoming.

Overall, the book is an easy read. The writing is average – not gripping.The characters are flat. A number of fairy tales are used – Snow White, Cinderella, Puss in Boots, and Hansel and Gretl, among others. This book is not written for a realistic look at urban problems, but as a potential as to what can happen. There’s one thought that stands out, though – people remain people throughout the ages. There have been mass death (Black Plague, AIDS), broken families, wicked people, poverty and inequality constantly in mankind’s history. That doesn’t change as the large picture. Fortunately, people like Rose can help change the small picture through individuals.

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