Reviews for Onion Girl


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 October 2001
De Lint's novels are driven not so much by destinations as by journeys, and The Onion Girl is no exception. Jilly Coppercorn, a figure familiar to readers of de Lint's other Newford stories, is an artist with paint in her hair and under her fingernails, always there for others, but possessing her own dark secrets. Now she must face both her present hospitalization after being hit by a car and the pain hidden in her past. She does this in the company of many familiar Newford faces, as well as some new folks in Newford and in manido-aki (the spirit world). What makes de Lint's particular brand of fantasy so catchy is his attention to the ordinary. Like great writers of magic realism, he writes about people in the world we know, encountering magic as a part of that world. Fairy tales come true, and their magic affects realistic characters full of particular lusts and fears. ((Reviewed October 1, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2001 September #1
Another of de Lint's urban fantasy novels (Forests of the Heart, 2000, etc.) set in the imaginary city of Newford, this one centering on artist and philanthropist Jilly Coppercorn. Jilly, long in touch with her magical side, captures the beings of fairyland in her paintings; but she's able to visit fairyland only in her dreams. As the story opens, Jilly, nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver, lies half-paralyzed in a hospital bed. Despite the efforts of her friends-artists, musicians, those she's helped and befriended over the years-Jilly, reluctant to face existence as the Broken Girl, spends more and more time in fairyland. As a young girl, she fled her drunken parents and Del, her rapist elder brother, only to slip into prostitution and drug addiction. When finally she got straightened out, she went back to find the younger sister she feels she abandoned. But Raylene was long gone, raped by Del in turn until her friend Pinky gave her a switchblade and the courage to use it. Now, years later, Raylene's back, nursing her hatred for the sister she feels abandoned her, breaking into Jilly's studio to trash her paintings. Worse, Raylene also can enter the dreamlands, where she's a wolf and a ruthless hunter, feeding on the blood of unicorns.Another absorbing tale, as believable and insightful as they come, yet there's still an unsatisfying lack of weight-even the ancient spirits don't pack much of a wallop. Copyright Kirkus 2001 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Library Journal Reviews 2001 December #1
Jilly Coppercorn, a talented painter whose works reveal the hidden life of the magical Canadian town of Newford, lies in a hospital, the victim of an apparent car accident. As her friends gather around her, Jilly's own story comes to the fore, filled with the mysteries and secrets she has hidden from herself as well as from others. Continuing his series of novels set in a modern world that borders on a dimension of myth and legend, de Lint (Moonheart) highlights the life of one of his most popular characters. A master storyteller, he blends Celtic, Native American, and other cultures into a seamless mythology that resonates with magic and truth. A good selection for most fantasy collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2002 February
Is someone trying to murder artist Jillian Coppercorn? As she lies in her hospital bed, paralyzed from a hit-and-run accident, someone trashes her studio, destroying her renowned faerie paintings. Jilly's artwork is inspired by subconscious trips to an alternative world she calls the dreamlands, a place full of literary, mythical, and surreal landscapes and characters. There she can still walk about, able-bodied. She is surrounded by friends, most with a foot in both worlds, all ready to protect her from a stalker. In this New Age environment, Jilly perhaps possesses a special magic yet also harbors secrets from a dark past. She is told that her psychological wounds must heal before her physical ones can. Juxtaposed with this fantasy tale is a grittier story about two sisters suffering in an abusive white-trash family. One sister runs away, leaving the younger one to feel betrayed and abandoned, although both separately endure years of hardships in the seamy world of prostitution and crime. Over time, the resourceful but vengeful sister discovers magic and access to the dreamlands. The two plots collide as Jilly confronts the layers of her past and is forced to make a crucial decision. These characters and their imaginary city of Newford have been featured in many of the author's writings. Here they are developed further in an enjoyable modern-day fantasy adventure. The well-written but graphic depictions of life in the edgy world of switchblades and sleaze recommend this book to more mature fantasy fans.-Kevin Beach. 4Q 3P S A/YA Copyright 2002 Voya Reviews

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