“Gwendy’s Magic Feather” is the follow up to “Gwendy’s Button Box” written by Richard Chizmar and Stephen King. For the second book, detailing the exploits of the main antagonist Gwendy Peterson, King opted not to contribute to the story, but he did write the foreword to the book.
Gwendy Peterson is no longer a twelve year old girl, who has in her possession a magical box. The box was not a product of a child’s overactive imagination. Instead, it was entrusted to her by a mysterious man, she met in her youth, named Richard Farris. Chizmar picks up with Gwendy’s life twenty five years into the future. She’s married to her husband Ryan, a foreign correspondent. She is a successful author, and when the story begins, is representing the people of Castle Rock, Maine as a member of Congress.
Congress is about to go on a holiday hiatus. Christmas is less than a week away and Gwendy is getting ready to return home to spend the holidays with her parents. Her mother, not too long ago, had been in ill health. A few days before her vacation begins, the button box from her childhood, which both enthralled and frightened her has inexplicably returned. This time, however, Richard Farris did not hand her the box, with the explanation of why he wanted her to have it.
The box calls to Gwendy, and its pull on her is inexorable. She remembers the power she was able to wield when she ate one of the chocolate, animal-shaped treats it would dispense when she pulled a lever on the side of the box. She seemingly became smarter, stronger, and faster. She became richer as well, because the box would also dispense Morgan Silver dollars whenever Gwedy wanted one. The box, however, had a down side to it. If she pushed the wrong button because she got monetarily angry, a catastrophe could take place. The positive attributes of the box, however, have often left Gwendy wondering about her life. How much of her success in life was due to her own accomplishments? How much of what she had achieved was directly related to the the power of the box.
Making matters worse, when Gwendy arrives back in Castle Rock, not everything is wonderful, far from it. Leaving aside her personal life, which has issues, a report she gets from Sheriff Noris Ridgewick, only heightens her sense of foreboding. Two local girls have gone missing. The only physical evidence of the girls that has been recovered are teeth, which causes the media to dub the abductor ‘The Tooth Fairy.’
Will Gwendy give in to the power of the box? Does she do so in order to fix the problems in her personal life? Can she save the lives of the missing girls by using the box? Can she prevent other girls from meeting the same fate by identifying the ‘The Tooth Fairy?’ The answers to those questions and more will be revealed by the book’s conclusion.
“Gwendy”s Magic Feather” was published by Cemetery Dance Publications on November 19,2019. The illustrations for the book cover were done by Ben Baldwin. The interior drawings were handled by Keith Minnion. The book, which is divided into two parts, is 330 pages in length.
Those who haven’t read the first book, will be doing themselves a disservice. There are numerous references to things that took place, as well as characters who won’t be known to readers if they begin with the second book. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I found it interesting that Chizmar decided to explore Gwendy’s life as an adult, as well as, write, to some extent, what had taken place during the intervening years from her childhood to the present.