“This book is so fucking good. And do I need to mention Abby?” This is what I wrote on social media midway through listening and honestly, I could leave it at that. But, being me, I won’t.
That exhilarating feeling I felt last summer when I first read The Headmistress? It came back tenfold with the audiobook. First, there was the anticipation. When the author announced that Abby Craden would be narrating, the impatience went through the roof. Who better than Abby Craden to voice Magdalene Fucking Nox? For the nerd that I can’t help being, the fact that it was released on 2.22.22 simply added to the perfection that I knew this would be.
I don’t have time to reread favourite books anymore, now that there are so many to choose from. Audiobooks are my excuse. Knowing what was going to happen in the story (interestingly, I hadn’t forgotten that much) allowed me to focus on the words, on the details, the little things that make McKay’s writing work so well for me, afforded me the luxury to delight in clues I’d missed the first time, appreciate the whole name thing too that she explained in this blog post, revel in Lily’s sassiness, Sam’s earnestness and less in-your-face hotness, and, obviously, the overall wonder that is Magdalene Nox. While I was extremely impatient to hear Craden voice Magdalene – and damn, the level of sexiness… –, I love absolutely all her voices, Sam’s and Lily’s in particular.
The Headmistress was my favourite book in 2021. Abby Craden is, well, Abby Craden. And yet, even though I knew this combo would be magnificent, it exceeded my expectations. If, after listening, you’re not ready to let go of Sam and Magdalene and you haven’t read it yet, grab the follow-up short story The Proposal. And keep your eyes peeled on February 26th for a Willoughby-related surprise.
Edit, February 26th, 2022: The Willoughby-related surprise has arrived and you can get it here.