Reviews for Widdershins
Booklist Reviews 2006 March #2
/*Starred Review*/ De Lint takes us back to Newford and environs, his most extensive creation, where things and people from dreams and lore and story pass easily into the human world and draw humans into theirs. When Lizzie Mahone's car breaks down at a crossroads in the early hours of the morning, and she is rescued from a gang of particularly thuggish spirits by a kindlier one, she takes her first step into the world of the spirits of the land and also into the midst of brawls and rivalries between aboriginal spirits and others who have arrived over the centuries. The dwellers in the otherlands have adapted to changes wrought by time and technology but, not having altered their nature, are as capriciously helpful or harmful to humans as they ever were in any folktale. Lizzie's introduction to the otherlands draws her into the circle of similar characters in de Lint's previous Newford books. Indeed, Widdershins is also a story of Jilly Coppercorn, the crippled heroine of The Onion Girl (2001). De Lint weaves the individual characters' stories into a tight-knit whole, accompanied by music, love, pugnacity, frustration, and healing. Many of his faithful readers see the people he has created as kin they want to keep up with. Walk widdershins (i.e., counterclockwise) once and you may, too. ((Reviewed March 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2006 March #2
Sentimental, wildly imaginative follow-up to The Onion Girl (2001) finds Jilly Coppercorn abducted into the fairy underworld and still sweet on fiddler Geordie Riddell.The trouble between humans and the fairy spirits gets underway when fiddler Lizzie Mahone's car breaks down on the way home from a gig with her band, the Knotted Cord. Attacked by a formidable gang of dwarfish, aggressive men called bogans, she's rescued by a taciturn native named Grey. Lizzie buries the deer the bogans killed, enraging the fairies on the one hand, but on the other, endearing herself to the deer's father, Walker. In the town of Newford, where the humans reside, occasional fiddler Geordie is dating a weird seer named Mother Crone who holds forth in the Woodforest Plaza Mall. Geordie's been best friends with artist Jilly since before the hit-and-run accident that turned her into a Broken Girl in a wheelchair, but that's as far as it goes. (" 'Everybody knows you carry a torch for each other,' " complains Jilly's friend Mona. " 'You're just never single at the same time.' ") Jilly breaks up with perfect boyfriend and nurse Daniel, leaving her free to join Geordie on a gig with the Knotted Cord at the Custom House-filling in for Lizzie's fiddler cousin Siobhan, who broke her wrist in a fall instigated by the vengeful bogans. Abducted during their sleep by fairies and spirited away to the woodlands "in-between," Lizzie and Jilly shape-shift into their younger selves and encounter all manner of strange creatures, from corbae and cerva to aganesha and crow girls (a glossary might have helped). Joe, wise kindred spirit to Jilly and peacenik among the rival factions, attempts to mollify Queen Tatiana (Mother Crone's superior), while Jilly's villainous siblings Del and Raylene make cameo appearances. Despite the convoluted lineages, a rather sweet relationship novel. Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews 2006 May #2
On her way home from a gig in the small Canadian town of Sweetwater, Celtic fiddler Lizzie Mahone disrupts the feasting of a band of faerie thugs and becomes a target for their hostility, also winning the respect of a pair of Native American spirits. These new complications bring her into the orbit of Jilly Coppercorn, a brilliant painter and a favorite of the many faerie folk who dwell unseen in the nearby town of Newford, and Jilly's friend, master fiddler Geordie Riddell. As familiarly as though he were chronicling the lives of old friends, de Lint (The Onion Girl ) spins yet another magical story of the intersections between reality and the faerie and spirit world in this latest addition to the Newford opus, his twin loves of storytelling and music-making shining through every page. An essential purchase for all libraries; highly recommended. [Page 92]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 March #4
This pleasing addition to the popular Newford saga (The Onion Girl , etc.) brings series characters Jilly Coppercorn and Geordie Riddell together in a romantic relationship that's anything but simple. In de Lint's magic-realist universe, a version of contemporary North America, the supernatural is taken for granted and the occasional skeptic who doesn't understand that everyone else has routine encounters with fairies and Native American earth spirits is left very much in the dark. Many of the characters are folk musicians, one of whom begins the story under magical compulsion to perform for the fairy revels in a shopping mall after closing time. These fairies aren't necessarily of the cuddly sort--early on, a female musician barely escapes possible rape or murder from nasty little men. In the background, a great war is brewing between Native American spirits and those that came over with the white men, a situation that inevitably recalls Neil Gaiman's American Gods , to which this more intimate and folksy book compares favorably. Author tour. (May) [Page 63]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2006 June
This novel does not leave much out. Fairies, Native American spirit folk, humans, and powers that defy categorization all mingle in many places and on many planes. They are brought together by one cruel murder, but the war, revenge, romance, friendship, and healing sparked by that single deed explode into many plot lines that wind and tangle among events and relationships stretching not only across the span of a human life but all the way back to the world's creation. Most important in this web is Jilly Coppercorn, a character familiar to de Lint fans from previous works, who has become imprisoned in a vicious magical world of her own unintentional creation. At the same time, Walker, one of the animal people native to North America, seeks to punish the fairies who killed his daughter. Yet as each of Jilly's and Walker's friends reaches out to offer help or to seek explanations, new connections are discovered between these seemingly unrelated events and a complex network of relationships and histories is revealed. Eventually this dependency of one upon another, of learning from each other and building relationships, enables an optimistic resolution to all of the tale's many conflicts and even happiness for some of its characters The complexity of de Lint's multidimensional world may be off-putting for some readers who would be better served by beginning with one of his earlier works. Similarly readers who prefer plot over character and physical action over psychological epiphanies may find de Lint hard going, but the author's many fans will welcome this intricate melding of his themes and characters.-Megan Lynn Isaac 3Q 4P S A/YA Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.