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The Onion Girl
by Charles de Lint

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
508 pages; ISBN: 0312873972

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

Artist Jilly Coppercorn is quite a talent whose paintings make the biggest cynic believe the painter has visited fairyland. Her landscape and creatures seem very real, as if she visited Fairy. However, a hit and run driver leaves the talented artist semi paralyzed. Worse than her broken body is Jilly’s broken spirit as her zest for life is as paralyzed as her body.

Jilly no longer wants to live in the human realm and turns to her dreams of fairyland as escapism just as she did as a girl to evade her drunken parents and her rapist elder brother Del. Jilly fell apart as a youngster, but when she finally got her act together and returned home, she found Raylene her younger sister hated her for abandoning her to rape by Del. Raylene still loathes Jilly and can enter fairyland where she feeds on unicorns targeting Jilly for death in that realm and subsequently the mundane world.

THE ONION GIRL looks deeply inside he psyche of its’ two lead female characters especially Jilly who has appeared in other Charles de Lint tales. Additionally, the novel persuades the audience to believe in fairyland, but surprisingly the tale goes at a slow pace for what sounds like an action fantasy. The fans see the reactions of Jilly and Raylene to setbacks on the human plane and how that impacts their behavior in fairyland. Though poignant and insightful, fans of epic fantasy will not enjoy this tale but those readers who relish a psychological character study using fantasy elements to enhance the profundity of the plot will love this special tale.

Harriet Klausner

 

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