Saturday, September 09, 2006

Solstice Wood by Patricia McKillip

Solstice Wood
Patricia A. McKillip

What a beautiful, lovely book. Solstice Wood is a wonderful blend of the mundane and the mystical, all tied up through misunderstanding.

Two worlds collided badly in McKillip's Winter Rose and in this book, generations later the reverberrations of that are still present. After Rois Melior won Corbett Lynn back from the queen of the winter wood, spells and guardians were put in place to keep the wood folk away and contained.

If you follow tradition and the path set down by your forebears, is there ever room to re-evaluate the situation and see if perhaps, it is time for tradition to change.

This, really, is the crux of Solstice Wood. It is beautifully told through differing first person point of view characters. This manner of writing seems odd to me at first, until I realised that all of them had a different view on the same truth and only together could the full story be told and understood.

McKillip's lyrical writing still shines, but in this modern world tale, it is tempered with the everyday, and I think this probably makes Solstice Wood more accessible to the causal reader. I love the way she writes - I always imagined I would like to "write like Patricia McKillip, but less obscure" and that's how this book feels. It's still weaves magic with words, but I feel much more like I understood the story than I sometimes do at the end of one of her books.

This book makes a much deeper, emotional sense if you've read Winter Rose, but it still works alone. All the same, I'd say read both. Why miss out on another good story.


Paul Deane said...

Nice review. Would you mind if I quoted a sentence or so in a website I'm working on? I'll attribute it to you and link back to here.


Kerry said...

You're very welcome. Go ahead.

I'd love to see your website when it's done. If you remember, please do pop back with a link.