Now, at last, de Lint tells Jilly's own story; for behind the painter's fey charm lies a dark secret that she's labored to forget. "I'm the onion girl," Jilly Coppercorn says. "Pull back the layers of my life, and you won't find anything at the core. Just a broken child. A hollow girl. She's very, very good at running - but the past has come to claim her now."
©2001 Charles de Lint; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Very long and drawn out...the end was unsatisfying... but if you stay with it, it does have something to say. Its about how we become the person we choose to be. Every decision you make sends your life path in a new direction. Sometimes good, sometimes not good. And only you havethe power to change your path. The story was painful to hear in some places, speaks of child abuse and neglect. It made me cry.
I have never read anything by Charles De Lint prior to listening to The Onion Girl. It is a very good book. I was suprised at how well he mixed the faerie world into what would be considered our world. The book is dark and I saw in the reviews that it was very depressing and hard to read. I would say while it is a book that deals with dark issues it is one of hope and redemtion. You do have to stick with it to get to the hope and redemption.
The book deals with issues of sexual abuse, at times graphically but not pornagraphically so. It also deals with children living on the streets and the years work those who go through these experiences spend on healing and coping with the mental trauma related. I was nervous to read this because I have a very hard time when these issues are dealt with in a trite, superficial, or inaccurate manner. I am not an expert but did work in social work with these issues for a few years and found De Lint's interpretation to be believable and in a way healing. Many people who deal with childhood trauma turn to fantasy and science fiction as a release to live in another world. I was impressed with De Lint.
Apart from the topic, I also found the Onion Girl to be well written and captivating. It is a very interesting story that keeps you intrigued. I highly recommend this book
Her conviction to wanting others to know and experience that there is more to the world if you can move past your personal stumbling blocks and allow yourself to see it.
Not sure I have a favorite character, they are all colorful and have interesting attributes. I think the biggest role in the book belongs to the dreaming world, which is a fascinating place that I wish I could go.
I love Kate Reading, ever since listening to her co-narrate the wheel of time series with Micheal Kramer. Her excellent voice acting skills really help in following the story as it moves from one characters point of view to another.
The world is as it is...but is it?
As Jilly emphatically points out in one part of the story that people are not born bad...this makes me want to know more about Del's back story which is never really discussed (not that I want to like or forgive him his deeds); but what made him the monster he was? and for that matter a little more on the Tatter Snake's issue would be interesting....
Intriguing, engaging and different
Widdershins, Dreams Underfoot, Dream and Memores, The Mystery of Grace
Her voice works very well with both male and female characters and is pleasant to listen to.
The other side
This story has good intentions: marry the world that we live in with a fairytale world. People are able to move between them in their dreams. The flow of the story is very, very slow. It is hard to find the apex of the story as it just meanders along. The ending of the story does not conclude much as it happens too far away from the climax - so it drags on there too. All in all it was not a horrible listen. Some of the the characters were great (liked the bad sister and her friend a lot - they at least had drive in the story, some sort of passion). I did not find myself rooting for the anyone in particular so found it hard to attach to the story - it just did not grab me as other stories have in the past.
The content of this novel was very dark with a lot of the story telling the story of the childhood abuse suffered by the main characters. At times I found it depressing and too serious but the narrator was doing such an amazing job I kept listening.
I always loved returning to Newport and the characters I have grown to love. Does not matter how long in between it feels like I have never left, which take a true master writer to do. The way this book deals with both emotional healing of past childhood abuse and physical healing gives it a prospective that every story of abuse is different and they way one reacts is unique everytime. he reminds us to heal from abuse is not in revenge but in making yourself stronger.
It seems like two separate books: 1) a story of stark realism dealing with sexual abuse, life on the streets, and all the grim consequences that follow, and 2) an engaging fantasy of an alternative spiritual world of magic that I suspect is supposed to be an ameliorating counterpart to the other grim tale. But the author does a poor job of making the connections entwine in a way that holds the focus of the narrative within the double vision of the two tales. The storytelling is at its best in the fantasy world, but painful in all other respects. As much as I liked some parts of the writing, and actually wanted to know more about how things connected, I couldn't bring myself to finish it. Too much of it felt like punishment.
De Lint's world and characters are as charming as ever, and the world he creates is somehow both mystical and believable. He does a remarkable job of blending new and old, expected and unexpected, mythological and mundane. The characters and the world(s) are fully developed in a vibrant and elaborate tapestry, with a depth that leaves the reader wanting to know more despite the satisfactory resolve.
Kate Reading's voice acting adds to the overall charm and pleasure of this book. There are quite a few characters in this story, and if some of the characters have similar voices, it is still clear whose voice she is narrating. Her clear and gentle style entice the listener to become lost in the story and forget things like, oh, the tea kettle on the stove.
I would recommend this book for those who enjoy suspending their disbelief to peer through the keyhole of one writer's view of what could be. It has strong themes of personal strength, and triumph against the odds, as well as a deep respect for the First Peoples of North America. It could also be an inspiring tale of hope for someone recovering from an accident or other health setback. Any fan of Charles de Lint's urban fantasies will enjoy hearing more about Jilly and the Dreamland.
Overall a terrific read, one I plan to play again, and possibly buy in paper format.
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