Sunday, February 16, 2014

Review: The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint

The Wild WoodThe Wild Wood by Charles de Lint
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in my 2014 TBR Challenge. One would think I wouldn't need motivation to read anything by Charles de Lint, much such a short book. And yet, this has been languishing, unread, for ages on my shelves.

Eithnie is a painter who lives in the Canadian wilderness. Her paintings lately have been missing something; they're too remote and unconnected, though creative. She has a vision of seeing a woman in the forest holding a book, and, ever since, seems able to only paint fairies into her landscapes and scenery. It turns out the local faeries need her for something, something she needs just as badly, herself.

A lot of the book takes place with Eithnie in solitude, and it crosses a period of several months and spans the very different landscapes of Arizona and Canada forest. This leads to something of a sense of detachment from the book and its conflict. I felt like Eithnie wasn't as well-developed as other characters de Lint has written. Her inner struggle felt real enough, but it didn't feel genuine for it to have come to a crisis point only then. And her jump into intimacy when she was afraid to touch the leg of the guy she likes, before, seems abrupt.

Despite my complaints, I still found this a worthwhile read. It has its moments of beauty and fascinating otherworldly creatures drawn from mythology. It has a woman solving her problems by helping those in faerie. It has most of the elements I've come to expect in a Charles de Lint novel.

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