Sunday, March 02, 2008


Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 508
Number in Series : One of the books set in Newford
Reason for Reading : What's in a Name Challenge (Plant) and I am trying to read all of Charles de Lint's books as I love his writing

A sad yet beautiful tale mixing fantasy, fairy tale, mythology and reality. Jilly Coppercorn is a painter before being hit one night by a car and ending up in a coma. On waking up she finds one side of her body paralysed, but on the upside is finally able to enter the dreamlands that her best friend Sophie goes to in her dreams. She hides away in the cathedral forest while the Broken Girl lies not getting any better in the hospital bed. After seeking advice from some of the People Jilly finds out that to start to heal her body, she must first heal her past wounds that she has pushed away deep inside her as they involve child abuse, prostitution and drugs before people stepped in to help her become the person she is today. In hiding from her past it has found it's own way to catch up with her in the present in more ways than one.

The tale contains lots of familiar faces from his previous stories and I really liked the friendship of the three firce strong woman, Jilly, Wendy and Sophie. The elements of storytelling were woven together magically and I got swept away in the story and really getting to know the characters. It started to make me wish I could draw or paint and some of the passages about Jilly and Sophies artwork was so real somehow.

The story jumps around with different narrators, different worlds and different time points, but each chapter and sub chapter was clearly labelled at the top to keep you in the right place. After a little while you don't need to check as you can tell from what the characters are saying, thinking and feeling. A good message that you can't run from your past and that it's how you live your life that matters not always what cards you are dealt (a favourite analogy of my father's funnily enough). Some very powerful messages in the book like that turning the other cheek when violence is done to you is letting them win, violence to defend yourself is ok in situations like abuse and it's interesting to read a powerful author of women who is male.

Highly recommended.

8 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I have had some DeLint on my TBR pile for years now. I really ought to move them up higher and make them a priority.

Thanks for the reminder.

Nymeth said...

I can't wait to read this one. Jilly Coppercorn is mentioned in some of the stories in Waifs and Strays, and I got very curious about her.

Ladytink_534 said...

I've heard a lot about this author. I'll make sure to try him out sometime! Any recommendation for where to start?

Marg said...

I am meant to be reading this book soon. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

Rhinoa said...

Susan - Get reading some de Lint! I hope you like him.

Nymeth - I think you will really like this story and Jilly. It weaves in Wendy and Sophie nicely into the tale as well who also crop up in Waifs and Strays I think.

Ladytink - I have only read a couple myself so far (Waifs and Strays, The Blue Girl and The Onion Girl). I recommend Waifs and Strays personally. It is a colletion of his short stories where teenagers are the main characters but it spans his entire career and gives you a good insight into his characters and writing.

Marg - I will keep an eye out on your blog for your review. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Darla D said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one - I love de Lint's books! You'll have to read Widdershins, which continues the story - and in a very good way. Jilly is one of my favorite fictional characters. :-)

Rhinoa said...

Darla - Thanks I didn't realise the story continued in one of his other books. I think I have a copy somewhere so I will put it to one side.

Booklogged said...

I've only read a few de Lint's but I've thoroughly enjoyed them. (with the exception of Wild Wood - it was just okay)

I really like The Little Country. I have Onion Girl on my TBR list already. It was good to read your thoughts about it.