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Widdershins (Newford) Hardcover – May 16, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*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 Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Newford
  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (May 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765312859
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765312853
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,848,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on May 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Like with many other de Lint fans, the ubiquitous characters Jilly and Geordie stand tall among my favorite Newford inhabitants. Jilly Coppercorn is the wise, tender, eccentric artist with a tortured past, a serene present and a gift for looking for the best in all things and all people -- despite her own tragedies. Geordie Riddell is the itinerant fiddler, the good-hearted friend and one of Newford's last skeptics -- until he, too, was forced to accept the realities of the fey. These two have been woven in and around many of de Lint's stories, both as primary characters and background support. And now, finally, de Lint is ready to tell their story.

It's no disappointment. For the sake of de Lint fans as eager as I was to see this one out to its conclusion, I'll refrain from repeating too many details here.

But let's begin with a few hints. Sure, the book revolves counterclockwise around Jilly and Geordie, but there are other Newford inhabitants, both new and old, who populate this tale. One is Lizzie Mahone, a musician whose car stalls in the middle of a growing war between North America's native and immigrant fey. Grunts from one side of the battle lines threaten the young girl, while a solitary member of the other comes to her rescue.

But don't sell the division short; de Lint is too canny a writer to draw a clear-cut line between good and evil. Both sides have their share of each and, even more common still, there are folk and faeries who exist somewhere in between. And, entwined within the larger frameworks of war are silkier threads of personal vengeance, hatred and murder.

Of course, both native and immigrant mythologies are richly presented, building further on the groundwork laid in de Lint's previous stories.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again, Mr. De Lint has given us a fine novel that continues the story of various people, human and not, that live around one imaginary city in Canada. While I was first attracted to his books by the lovely fantasy, I have kept coming back because of his good character development over time. This book does not disappoint. Here we finally find Geordie and Jilly together in a story that includes all my favorites: The Crow girls, Raven, Joe, Jack, Fairies, etc. Plus, there is a wonderful description of how it feels to play group music, the joy of it all just coming together perfectly, so well done that I believe Mr. De Lint must play himself. Obviously, this review won't say much to people who have never read him before -- so I'll just say to those folks: Give it a try. If you like native American animal spirits, celtic fairies, good musicians, and pitbulls, you will certainly enjoy this book! I did! For those of you who already know and love these books, you don't need any other encouragement to read than the fact that this has been published! Enjoy!
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We return to Newford and revisit two of my favorite characters in all of fantasy, Jilly Coppercorn and Geordie Riddell. Jilly is a wonderfully whimsical artist, now hampered by a physical disability and Geordie is a brilliant fiddler with serious commitment issues which leave him drifting through what could othwise be a prosperous musical career. Both have been friends forever, but even though there has been speculation, they have never gotten together as a couple due to bad timing and a series of spectacularly disasterous relationships and old baggage on both parts.

I've been a DeLint fan for years, but I was really disappointed at the end of The Onion Girl when Jilly, who of all of Newford's citizens, wants to believe and be touched by otherworldly magic the most, is left crippled and unable to visit the otherworld after her magical encounter.

Now, finally, we see a conclusion to the Jilly & Geordie saga in a story rife with new charaters, Animal People, and fairy. Just as in DeLint's other works, we find new trails of stories intertwined with the main plot and explore human nature in a provoking manner. Appearances by other old friends, like the Crow Girls, pop up thoughout and just make the whole experience more enjoyable.

A great ending to a familiar chapter...or is it a beginning?
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Format: Hardcover
This is the book that made me fall in love with the Newford characters. I picked it up as an advanced reader's copy at work (I of course work at a bookstore). I didn't think i'd like it to be honest but the cover art drew me in. I was bored one night and started reading it, before I knew it I had read a hundred some pages and it was 2 in the morning! If you're in the market to start reading Charles De Lint. Start with this one. It's entertaining and even though it's not suspense it keeps you on the edge of your seat just waiting what will happen next. It's extremely well paced - no dry spots. Even though this is actually the sequel to Onion Girl I would suggest reading this one first, it explains the reader's digest version of what happened in Onion Girl without making you feel as though you're missing anything. Then go back and read Onion Girl. I suggest this because Onion Girl has the most characters in any book i've ever seen and if you're already familiar with just a few of those characters it makes it so much easier. Jilly (the main character) is so easy to connect with, you'll love her. ;)
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