I’d been feeling rather disconnected from myself and decided that what I really needed was a good dose of Charles de Lint to remind me of the way things were and should be. I went to Amazon and found he’s been busy since I last read the Onion Girl, and bought this one as it was Newford. It was so nice to go back and revisit a well loved town and see what the familiar characters were doing. It was as comforting and emotional as I’d hoped. It reminded me that it’s good to start trusting people again and important to try and do the right thing and be a bit more optimistic about life.

It was interesting to see how Newford’s changed over the years. While there wasn’t much of the city itself within the book, the suburbs were growing, gentrifying and becoming more expensive, small towns were being transformed into tourist havens because they didn’t have anything else to do to support themselves.

I love the way Charles de Lint writes, he just has the ability to take you out of your time and place and transport you to somewhere he’s created that as fantastic as it becomes always feels astonishingly real, you can see the characters and know what they’re doing. You feel like they have lives beyond the current story they are in. It really is very magical.

The plot of this book involved the healing of Jilly, the ongoing conflict between the native spirits and the fairy and some new characters having adventures. After reading so many 19th century novels it was amazing to see how much was happening in this book. As always there were many different plots interacting in different ways. I have to admit at times it did seem a little overcrowded with such a large cast of characters, but I still loved it.

The book is very introspective, a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to figure out what’s going on inside their head, and examining their motivation. But I enjoyed this. It did seem a bit overly moral compared to some of his stories, particularly the shorter stories, but I didn’t mind as it was one of the reasons I wanted to read it in the first place, to remember that people can be good to each other and should be. I found myself tearing up for huge parts of it. When it was done I couldn’t leave the world behind and now I had my happy ending went back and started re-reading the Onion Girl as I just didn’t want to leave the characters behind, and didn’t think reading anything else would be enjoyable so soon afterwards. I’ve also ordered his other new Newford book, which happens before this one and I’m really looking forward to reading that too. It’ll be hard to remember that I have 100 books waiting to be read on my shelves and not just go back and re-read all his books again.
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