Oddly enough, although I understood it better, I think I liked it less than Winter Rose Some of the beauty and mystery was missing which in a way was part of the point, but still And the main character s grandmother is just stunningly unable to see what s going on under her nose for someone who is meant to be stubborn and shrewd Love blinds us all, I guess, but it still felt odd.
The fae stuff in this book is perhaps attractive than in Winter Rose, though we get to see the gentler side, the enticing side, and nuance Still, I m not greatly enamoured.
originally posted here.
Here s my review from June 2007 bookshop owner Sylvia returns to the family home she s avoided since she was a teen Confronted with her loving family once , Sylvia begins to realize that her grandmother is much than she seems and that the local sewing circle is far powerful than she ever dreamed Their stitches protect the human world from encroachment by the faery world But when Sylvia s cousin is kidnapped by the fey, she is forced to confront her own prejudices This is a much grounded book than McKillip s recent work, which I liked I rated it four stars at the time, but now I ve reread it in 2014 and feel the need to knock my rating down I didn t realize this was a reread until I got 200 pages in, when it started to feel faintly familiar I ve probably read over a thousand books since I last read this, but it s still not a good sign that I didn t remember pretty much anything from it The characters each have distinctive hair colors, from ivory to flame to gold, but somehow their POV chapters all blend together Which is not to say I liked nothing McKillip has a way with words Everything made me want to cry But I couldn t tears wouldn t come out It was stuck inside me, this nasty, monsterish feeling, of something so uncomfortable I couldn t stand it, but I couldn t get rid of it, either All I could do was hunker down around it, feeling it grow and grow as memories collected, and feeling myself turn into a troll, something surly and mean and snarling, my dank skin growing burls and warts, hoping nobody would come near me because my voice would flare out of me like a welder s fire It s a great description of teen angst and grief, and I love that view spoiler Tyler s own darkest feelings are his best protection against the feys glamors and enticements hide spoiler The World Fantasy Award Winning Author S Foray Into The Modern World Now In PaperbackNo Stranger To The Realms Of Myth And Magic, World Fantasy Award Winning Author Patricia A McKillip Presents Her First Contemporary Fantasy In Many Years A Tale Of The Tangled Lives Mere Mortals Lead, When They Turn Their Eyes From The Beauty And Mystery That Lie Just Outside Of The EverydayWhen bookstore Owner Sylvia Lynn Returns To Her Childhood Home In Upstate New York, She Meets The Fiber Guild A Group Of Local Women Who Meet To Knit, Embroider, And Sew And Learns Why Her Grandmother Watches Her So Closely A Primitive Power Exists In The Forest, A Force The Fiber Guild Seeks To Bind In Its Stitches And Weavings And Sylvia Is No Stranger To The Woods As you can see by the star rating, this book did not impress me much Which is pretty sad, considering that it s the sequel to Winter Rose, my favorite book for years and years It was in fact the book I read out loud to my husband when we were first married so that he could truly understand me I m not the only one who does this, right I mean, it s the obvious next step in a relationship after thoroughly perusing one another s bookshelves Unfortunately, where Winter Rose is subtle, poetic, and literary, Solstice Wood is, well, not Next time I ll skip the sequel and just read Winter Rose again instead.
The multiple 1st person POV was done very poorly in this book The characters voices all sounded the same yes, several of them are related to each other, so this could be understandable , so I would have trouble remembering whose chapter I was on if I stopped reading in the middle of it.
What a beautiful, lovely book Solstice Wood is a wonderful blend of the mundane and the mystical, all tied up through misunderstanding.
Two worlds collided badly in McKillip s Winter Rose and in this book, generations later the reverberations of that are still present After Rois Melior won Corbett Lynn back from the queen of the winter wood, spells and guardians were put in place to keep the wood folk away and contained.
If you follow tradition and the path set down by your forebears, is there ever room to re evaluate the situation and see if perhaps, it is time for tradition to change.
This, really, is the crux of Solstice Wood It is beautifully told through differing first person point of view characters This manner of writing seems odd to me at first, until I realised that all of them had a different view on the same truth and only together could the full story be told and understood.
McKillip s lyrical writing still shines, but in this modern world tale, it is tempered with the everyday, and I think this probably makes Solstice Wood accessible to the causal reader I love the way she writes I always imagined I would like to write like Patricia McKillip, but less obscure and that s how this book feels It s still weaves magic with words, but I feel much like I understood the story than I sometimes do at the end of one of her books.
This book makes a much deeper, emotional sense if you ve read Winter Rose, but it still works alone All the same, I d say read both Why miss out on another good story Copied across from Library Thing 5 November 2012 This book was a very enjoyable read It would be better appreciated by first reading Winter Rose Set in contemporary times, Sylvia Lynn, the great, great,great granddaughter of Winter Rose s protagonist Rois Melior returns to her childhood home, Lynn Hall after living away for many years Lynn Hall still is a portal to Faerie and the woods surrounding it are still inhabited by mysterious forces Since the time of Rois Melior, the local women have learned to bind the forces and close the portals by knitting, embroidering and weaving in a secretive group called the Fiber Guild.
Sylvia must confront her past and find out where she stands in all this.
Where as there were parts in Winter Rose that were too repetitive, in Solstice Woods there is not one slow or boring part However what I missed were Patricia A McKillip trip like sections that were in Winter Rose where it is impossible to tell dream from reality In this book the two are always easily discernible All and all this was a fun read for everyone who likes books where Faerie meets our world.
Solstice Wood follows Winter Rose, set several generations in the future, with the main character being a distant descendant of Rois, who was the main character in Winter Rose This book almost has the same feel as the first very much set in nature and has a dreamy, misty sort of atmosphere to it however, because it s grounded in present day I think that it s a lot easier to buy into right from the beginning than the first one is Sylvia comes home to go to her grandfather s funeral and re discovers the place where she grows up, a place that is haunted by stories of fae and magic and half fae children.
It s a story about self discovery and identity, especially our identity in relation to our ancestors Sylvia knows that she s half fae half of the very type of being that her grandmother tries so hard to protect the town from, and has a hard time with it, because she doesn t want to cause a disturbance, but has a hard time being comfortable in her grandmother s home because of it What Sylvia doesn t realize is that the town has a lot of other secrets a guild her grandmother runs that knits and crotchets and sews magic into the town to try to keep the fae out other people who are just as fae as Sylvia and those who are in love with fae people and who find ways around the boundaries that are sewn into the town.
It s an enjoyable book, a bit slow paced, but a really nice story overall We get the perspectives of Sylvia, Sylvia s grandmother, and Sylvia s cousin Watching how their stories intertwine into something bigger is a joy to read I also like how many parallels there are to the first book without being repetitive or redundant I really like McKillip s take on the world of fae and how they work think, and I love how Rois s experience has completely colored everything the town thinks and believes about the fae It s a nice lesson on how one incidence can change an entire town for generations in terms of their beliefs and attitudes.
Because I appreciated it so much in relation to the first one, I m not sure how enjoyable it would be without reading the first book While I think the story itself stands on its own, the characters journey depends so much on the understanding of Rois s experiences that I m not sure how well it would translate.
I enjoyed this book a lot, but like the first one, I don t think it s for everyone It s a slow and quiet story If you like fae stories, you would probably enjoy this.
Also posted on Purple People Readers.
The one where Sylvia s grandfather dies and her grandmother calls her home to a house that s a gate between two worlds.
There s the germ of something wonderful here, and it all clusters around Iris, the grandmother, and her Fiber Guild Everything in Iris POV, everything about the Fiber Guild, I loved The changeling was also wonderful, with a truly alien mind But I can t recommend this one.
Part of the problem was the plot s dependence on things I just didn t believe The human antagonist was completely laughable I never bought his threats for a moment And the plot required that the obvious answer to Sylvia s parentage never occur to Iris, which I also didn t believe Second, it was awfully tell y people spent an awful lot of time telling each other about the things they felt, whether that was in character or not.
And part of my problem was the Mary Sue Specialness of everything in the book On page 1, Sylvia wakes up in bed with a guy with purple eyes, and it just gets worse from there nobody has short hair, or eyes of a normal color, or an ordinary, demographically plausible name.
This is my second time reading this, which is a sequel to Winter Rose The first time, I hadn t read Winter Rose in a couple of years and so couldn t directly compare them, and I felt as though Solstice Wood stood up reasonably well.
This time, I read them back to back, and oh dear, I thought Winter Rose was much better and didn t like Solstice Wood as much.
The problem, I think, is the disjunct between the styles and the settings They re both first person, but Winter Rose has only one narrator, while Solstice Wood has five McKillip distinguishes their voices well, so I never lost track of who was speaking, but at the same time, I never got to know any of them as well as I did Rois in Winter Rose Winter Rose feels as though it s very much not set in our world, but in a fantasy world McKillip has created Solstice Wood is very firmly set in upstate New York, and so reading it back to back made the setting not work for me at all I just could not reconcile the two totally different settings in a way that made it believable that one had become the other, even though years later.
As a book on its own, Solstice Wood is an interesting look at how a community might deal with having another world in its woods As a sequel, though, it simply doesn t live up to its predecessor ETA edited 4 6 13 to fix idiotic author last name mistake.