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Month in review

Reviews
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Before There Was Mozart by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
A Castle On Viola Street by Dyanne Disalvo
Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie
City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
Clover's Luck by Kallie George
Demon Volume 2 by Jason Shiga
Except the Dying by Maureen Jennings
Felix the Railway Cat by Kate Moore
Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle
Giant Days, Volume 2 by John Allison
Happy Birthday, Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm
In the Beginning... by Arnaud Plumeri
The James: From Iron Gate to the Sea by Blair Niles
Just Us Women by Jeannette Franklin Caines
Knit Your Own Murder by Monica Ferris
The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint
My Secret Guide to Paris by Lisa Schroeder
No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe
On Mother's Lap by Ann Herbert Scott
Peril in Paperback by Kate Carlisle
The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation by Shannon Hale
The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Saturdays at Sea by Jessica Day George
The Specific Ocean by Kyo Maclear
The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Voltron: Legendary Defender, Volume 1 by Tim Hedrick
We Found A Hat by Jon Klassen
Zinnia: How the Corn Was Saved by Patricia Hruby Powell

Miscellaneous
Books about cats written by women
February 2017 ROOB and other news
Inclusive reading in February 2017
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 20)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 27)

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Memory and Dream: 03/23/17

Memory and Dream by by Charles de Lint

Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint is the second of the Newford books. The elevator pitch for this book is that it's sentimental horror.

Some of the book takes place in flashbacks, back in the 1970s when the main characters were up and coming passionate artists, full of potential and untamed talent. The rest takes place in the near present (to the time it was published) — 1992.

As I have said in numerous reviews, I find most flashbacks unnecessary. The case is true here. The flashbacks are here to show the characters, including Kathy, who has since committed suicide, as a flesh and blood, artist. Her death or rather the memory of her life is the big mystery of this book.

A death of a character, even a suicidal one, is usually defined by the tropes of the genre the book is most aligned with. If the Newford books were mysteries, then Kathy's death wouldn't be suicide — even if it looked like it to all the authorities.

Keeping that in mind, the Newford books are urban fantasy, Newford sits on the border with the faerie lands so it goes to figure that magic will be a part of any book in the series. But Newford isn't, thankfully, the Unseelies vs Seelies, which gives the series more wiggle room in each book for a foray into other genres.

Newford, like Joseph C. Lincoln's fictional towns dotting Cape Cod, has a sentimental feel to it. Even when people are being cursed the narration keeps this oddly nostalgic tone.

In this case, the fantasy element comes in the form of artists being so in tune with their skills, and the magic of the nearby forest, that they have managed to bring their portraits to life — including portraits of themselves, as they sat for each other. Were it not for the wistful reminiscence, the book would read like Stephen King's Duma Key.

But over all, the book with its lengthy flashbacks, long descriptions of the paintings, and the diary entries, is frankly too long and too disjointed.

Two stars

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