The Delicate Things We Make is one of my favorite books of the year. With The Headmistress, Milena McKay has gone beyond the brilliance of her first novel and is now firmly ensconced as one of the elite writers of lesfic.
Sam Threadneedle was left as a baby at Three Dragons Academy and is now the math chair. Sam had never felt like she fit in, like she was always standing on the outside looking at her life as it passed her by. Three Dragons is the only home she has ever known and the only place she feels close to being seen. Sam is lonely, especially after a chance encounter with a beautiful woman who she can’t seem to get off her mind. The night in NYC with the woman is sprinkled throughout the book and it’s no wonder Sam can’t get stop thinking about her. As Magdalene says to Sam, “Could it be that, with one exception, you have done nothing reckless in your entire life?” Sam doesn’t do reckless but she had a hunger for Magdalene that isn’t satisfied, even after she arrives and appears to be on a mission to destroy Sam’s home.
Magdalene Nox is one of those characters that stick with you. She is a paradox, as most incredible ice queens are. She can be cold and unrelenting but in the next moment with Sam, she is gentle and open. They have an undeniable chemistry and the vulnerability they display with each other is lovely.
The supporting characters really add a lot to the story. Joanne, Sam’s mentor, the only person at Three Dragons aware of her penchant for the ladies, Lily, one of Sam’s students and Willoughby, the rotund cat who falls for Magdalene’s charms. As I have come to expect from Milena she interweaves these characters and plots seamlessly.
I will read anything Milena writes from now until I’m too old to give a damn about reading. She could write a history on the evolution of toilet paper and I will read it. I may need a glass or four of wine, but I will remain devoted and read whatever this talented writer puts out. Milena McKay’s writing is some of the most beautiful I have every had the privilege of reading. I am very grateful she has shared her gift with all of us.