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The Wild Wood: 10/26/09
To me, Charles de Lint is primarily the book reviewer for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Although he started writing fantasy at the time I was completely addicted to the genre, I somehow missed his books. It's only through the magazine that I have discovered de Lint's fantasy.
I picked at semi-random 0765302586The Wild Wood because I loved the cover art by Stephen T. Johnson and the book design by Heather Saunders that mimics his painting of the stick people before the forest. I read the first chapter while standing in the bookstore and liked what I had read and so I bought the book. I'm glad I did.
In The Wild Wood Eithnie has hit artist's block. She has impending deadlines and can't find the inspiration to paint or draw. The remote Canadian woods that have for so long been the source of her creativity are now fueling feelings of fear and claustrophobia. She feels as if the woods are encroaching on her cabin and that fair folk are following her.
A trip to Arizona to see long time friends and hopefully rekindle her creativity only leads to an acceleration of her experiences with the faeries. Fortunately for Eithnie she finds help in her friends and family. They believe her stories and have ways to either help or the tools she needs.
Birth, growth and loss are woven together as central themes to The Wild Wood. There are stillbirths, a miscarriage, a child. They are combined with the losses that the woods are suffering from logging, pollution and changes in the environment. At first I was put off by what felt like forced parallels but de Lint does manage to pull the two together for a satisfying and credible ending.
The Wild Wood ended up being one of the best fantasies I've read in a long time. I plan now to read through as many of de Lint's books as I can.
Comment #1: Tuesday, October, 27, 2009 at 21:04:39
This sounds lovely. I haven't read any de Lint but I have been meaning too for ages. This might be a good one to start with!
Comment #2: Friday, October 30, 2009 at 1838:02
De Lint was on my "meaning to read" list for about three years. I think Wild Wood was an excellent place to start.