Among Others - Jo Walton
Along with her twin sister, Morwenna Phelps always sought escape from her mad mother both in science fiction novels, and among the fairies inhabiting the modern ruins of post-industrial Wales. After an incident that left Mori crippled and her twin dead, she flees to live with her estranged father. Now alone at boarding school, Mori finds both refuge and friendship through reading.

While there is magic in Among Others, the story is really about the magic of reading a good book. Anyone who has ever sought escapism from a library or bookstore can instantly identify with Morwenna. The fantasy portions take a back seat to Mori’s discovery of kindred spirits while coping with the loss of her sister.

What magic there is in the novel is explicitly less dramatic than that in any book, influencing events with no sure indication of its actual success. Mori’s fears becoming a witch like her mother, but it’s also possible the magic or fairies may not be real at all. Regardless, any avid reader can relate to how Morwenna finds herself through reading.