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Cloven Hooves Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1991
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From the Author
Although out of print in the US, Cloven Hooves has been re-issued in the UK by HarperCollins. (ISBN 0007127731) For this and other newly reissued Megan Lindholm books, visit Amazon.co.uk.
About the Author
Megan Lindholm also writes as Robin Hobb. Robin Hobb is the author of The Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Trilogy, and The Tawny Man Trilogy.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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My sister very much enjoyed her birthday present :)
The story starts with two stories intertwined: first, Evelyn's wild, rough-and-tumble childhood and her youthful escapades with a faun in the Alaska forest, and second, an older, tamer Evelyn's marriage, which is on the rocks after she, her husband, and their son move in with the husband's family. His family is horrible in ways that are devastatingly realistic. I know people like Tom's folks. Unfortunately.
Evelyn, at first, tries to fit in with the in-laws, but it soon becomes apparent that she never will. Then she begins to see her faun again. Some very bad things happen, and Evelyn faces difficult decisions. I'll say no more for fear of spoilers, but there is no choice in this novel that does not lead to heartbreak. So, yeah, this is a very sad story. It's also good, though, and does a great job of integrating mythology and animal nature and human nature.
Even as a man, I felt and perhaps began to understand the agony a teenage girl/young woman can feel when she refuses to or can't "fit in". The character of Pan just feels right and adds to the magic of childhood, motherhood, and the struggle for independent thought. The story would have worked well even without the mythic side turning out to be "real", but throughout is original and uncontrived.
Only someone who refuses to read literature that asks us to grow and insists on only cheery stories could fail to see the brilliance of Cloven Hooves. From beginning to end it is unique, balanced, and extraordinary. I recommend it at the highest level.
The narrative, characters, character "arcs", description, pacing, mood - all excellent, with incredible attention to detail. How many other writers, writing about an outsider, the decline of a relationship, your in-laws, loss, childbirth, the fragility of the human body, actually create something as worthwhile, poignant and true as this? How many of them actually have something new or meaningful to say? This book has the feel of someone really getting their teeth into the subject, squeezing every scene and character interaction for all it's worth - fantasy is much better off for this book being written. Shame on fantasy readers for letting such a gem fall out of print!
You should buy it. It's terrific.