From Publishers Weekly
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.
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*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. Frieda MurrayCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved