From Publishers Weekly
After a childhood of abuse and drug addiction, Jilly Coppercorn, last seen in de Lint's Widdershins
(2006), is well on her way to being normal as an art school student when she runs into Donna Birch, her only friend from the bad old days, at the start of this appealing urban fantasy set in Newford in 1972. Donna takes Jilly into a realm similar to this world, but where things have a way of working out better. It's almost a paradise, a place where dreams are almost too easily realized, until Jilly realizes that the inhabitants are actually dead, souls whose lives were unfulfilled. She can continue pleasantly enough, but only by abandoning her responsibilities to all the people who helped her back in the living world. While much of this will resonate more with longtime fans of de Lint's Newford series, the lucid writing and well-realized characters make this short novel accessible even to new readers. (Sept.)
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De Lint returns to Newford and Jilly Coppercorn's youth, which readers of The Onion Girl (2005) and other Jilly stories know was extremely painful. The setting here is Jilly's early college days. She is just beginning to put her abused past behind her. One evening she runs into her only friend from her days in a juvenile institution, one of the few who know her original name. Bass-playing Donna invites Jilly to see her band. But no one has heard of the club in question. That's not surprising in Newford, where things and people come and go, and some things exist only for those who can sense them. When Jilly goes walking with Donna after the show, she enters another town, in which she can put the past even further behind and be what she should have been without the intervening wasted years. De Lint presents Jilly's choices, the memories impelling them, and the solution to the riddle of Donna in his characteristic powerful yet intimate style. Jilly's reader friends, including those first meeting her, will be more than delighted. Murray, Frieda Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved