READ The Wood Wife ¼ Terri Windling

Ter mental picture of her work I love the southwest Desert And Appreciated The Time Windling Spent Describing It I and appreciated the time Windling spent describing it I the structure of the story could have been a little stronger as the narrative struggled with shifting perspectives Maggie Fox Dora shifting purposes escaping an unhappy love researching Cooper building a desert life and then shifting styles omnipotent narrator personal reflection intercepted letters Nonetheless the language and imagery is enough to rate this space on a limited personal bookshelf I am very fond of this book in part because I think it is one of the few urban fantasies that include artists and a description of their work that makes me want to see the artwork described I suspect it is because Windling is a painter as well as a writer and she genuinely creates those works even if not materially I think she does this far better than even if not materially I think she does this

*far better than *
better than for example who though I really really like his stories and many of his novels peoples his writing with artists whose work I never find myself wanting much less needing to seePerhaps it is a cultural thing Windling s elusive Ana is a bit of a combination between RL artists Remedios Varo and Ana Mendieta and what we get of her story rings true of a certain generation of Latin American artists my mother among them who combined big city sophistication with the profoundly formative and undeniable indigenous and folk art visions of countries like Mexico and Guatemala I believe the other artists works too Tatiana s and Juan s and although I find them less intriguing I wouldn t mind attending one of their exhibitions If I have a complaint about this work it is that the most interesting characters for me Ana and Cooper are too easily dismissed The resolution of their lives and relationship and the mystery of abandonment of Ana s art that had been life blood until then is unsatisfying and facile Windling does better honoring Cooper than Ana and I think it is a missed opportunity Despite this I still wholly recommend the book This is one of those wonderful contemporary mythic novels that blurs the boundaries between reality and folklore A writer inherits her favorite poet s home in the middle of nowhere Arizona after he dies under mysterious circumstances She discovers his wife s fantastical artwork in a secret room but when the landscape starts mirroring the art the lines between reality and art blur I loved the mix of folklore and art and the setting is beautifully depicted Margaret Kingsburyhttpsbookriotcom20170703riot The night blue lapis The mountain onyx Saguaro verdigris with a cooper dish of moon The wind rustles dry mesuite A coyote howls A star falls And the night cracks me open with beauty sharp and poignant as grief The night cracks me open like a geode exposing the crystal veins of God I read this story at the very end of August and in Minnesota that is the beginning of fall The temperatures are dropping suirrels are busy hiding their caches and some trees are starting to drop leaves Yes we may still have some Indian summer left but Fall has arrived and Winter that horrible and brutal force is just over the rise As this story climaxes in the Fall Allhollows eve to be exact it seemed like the perfect time to read it It was an unplanned et perfectly timed preparation for the change of seasonTerri Windling published this in 1996 It won the Mythopoeic Award for Novel of the Year Terri herself is considered to play a major part in developing the Urban Fantasy Genre She was also awarded the SFWA s Soltice Award in 2010 a life achievement award for significant contributions to the speculative fiction field as a writer editor artist educator and mentor The book itself is both a love letter to the American Southwest and a delicate feminine fantasy of escaping the everyday and touching a world beyond our own It s lovingly written interspersed with poetry heartfelt letters and multiple perspectives I loved the intricate and thoughtful descriptions of the southwest it s landscapes food music culture and people I ve walked in the Tuscan desert and climbed scraggly hills in Phoenix and it vividly brought back rich memories I asked Alexa to play the Eagles on Pandora while I read and it was a great soundtrack to this novel If الإيضاح لمتن ايساغوجي في المنطق you re looking for long forages into a fantasy world this may not be the book forou It s a long slow striptease and we are at least three uarters through the story before we really get the slightest glimpse into the magical world beyond That s not a bad thing Windling lays out an interesting set of characters and a storyline filled with little and big mysteries The journey into the fantasy world is of an event than any lengthy part of the plot This worked for me as I fell for the characters and the mysterious plot points What s behind that locked door How did Cooper die What happened to Anna I want to talk about the ending but alas no spoilers here A lovingly written spiritual sensuous fantasy that slowly wanders through the plot like a lazy walk in the desert admiring all the mysteries and beauty along the way Not perfect but Four and a half stars that I will round up to Five. Pecial powerAs she reads Cooper's letters and learns the secrets of his life Maggie comes face to face with the wild ancient spirits of the desert and discovers the hidden power at its heart a power that will take her on a journey like no other. A bar and its aftermath where every action is not only described the motives behind it are explained Maggie can t just offer to be the designated driver no she described the motives behind it are explained Maggie can t just offer to be the designated driver no she tell us exactly what she ll drink and why and we have to wade through the minds and emotions of all of the other characters The ending just spirals out of control Yes I get it that the DoraJuan scenario parallels the CooperAnna I just don t care Anna s letters spell out everything in bold detail removing any sense of mystery or suspense I began skimming at that point as paragraph after paragraph was nothing than Maggie pondering some point or finely detailed description of the desert or characters rehashing some point What I found especially disappointing was that the ending was so ultimately rational Everything fit All of the ends were tied up Yes they were supernatural resolutions but they were resolutions We understand everything and why That is not the way that a work of magic realism should end Poet Davis Cooper dies leaving his home in the Tuscon mountains to Maggie Black his friend and prot g As she explores his home and the mysteries of his life and death she begins to suspect that the magic that fills Cooper s poems is not allegory but rather reflects the reality of the desert mountains Although well written and technically accomplished exaggerated characters and a predictable plot render the book s magic flat The Wood Wife may satisfy some readers but I found it disappointing and don t recommend itWindling clearly knows her way around a piece of literature her characters are well defined almost to excess every scene serves a purpose the plot has a strong conclusion all in all she knows what she wants to say says it well and The Wood Wife is technically accomplished But technical skill is only one part of a good book and this novel lacks the other rather elusive factors which would make it a success It has no subtlety or passion The characters are excessively defined and they too easily accept the magic of their mountain That magic is a thoughtful spin on some Native American and mythic fantasy tropes but the plot and writing style that explore it are too straight forward Rather than hovering over the land like a mirage the magic is as flat as the paper it s printed onI suspect that some of my apathy of the book is a result of personal preference The Wood Wife is very similar to Charles de Lint s work and other mythic fantasy novels which likewise fail to impress me Readers who are interested in artistic characters encountering native styled magical beings on the edges of urban American environments likewise readers which prefer straight forward storytelling will have better luck with this book Regardless I believe that Windling s technical skill is wasted on this lackluster novel There is no passion mystery or magic here just attempts at each As such I don t recommend The Wood Wife Dreamers cacti wild pigs Poets and musicians This is the kind of book that I could have really enjoyed as a much Riders of the Sea younger person I think in my dreamy teens it could easily have been my gospel I can feel that stuff about my Appalachian woods so I can believe it of someone else s desert But now cynical old me it just didn t catch me in my fur it didn t drag me out onto that star spiral and take me away across time and the canyon sky Once upon a time I would have lived and dreamed myself into Maggie probably even bought myself a black man s suit jacket and imagined myself that kind of sexy I can imagine how I might have reacted but it s all one step removedBUT I loved Thumper Thumper was excellent She was the best part of the whole book the most whole real alive I might be glad I read it just for knowing her Sometimes that s what books are for soou can meet someone Originally slated to be one of the four premier books in the Brian Froud s Faerielands series when that was scrapped the two books that hadn t been released were published as stand alone fantasies and another cover artist was chosen When the book was such a success it was again given a new cover but the reprint wasn t nearly as pretty as the original Froud cover or the Boulet painting that was chosenThe book itself was a delight to read I Like Desert Of like desert of Arizona best of the four locale s that were chosen Enjoyed it very much Mystical based urban fantasy or rater rural fantasy as it largely takes place in a remote area of Arizona Although this book was enjoyable once I sat down and made some uninterrupted time for it I found the writing occasionally sermonizing such as when a character is making a point about wildlife being shot and poisoned under game laws or bringing suburban housing values to rural settings It s not that I don t agree with those values I do it s that it seemed to interrupt the story flow I don t know maybe it was appropriate in the guise of enlightening Maggie about the man made troubles the desert faced Aside from that I savored a book that was clearly in love with artistic expression chiefly painting poetry and writing I wish I knew about some of the traditions that contextualize Anna s paintings so I could have a bet. State and the mystery of his life and deathMaggie is astonish by the power of this harsh but beautiful land and captivated by the uncommon people who call it home especially Fox a man unlike any she has ever known who understands the desert's I picked up this book because I wasam trying to read as much of the early urbanmythic fantasy books as I can get my hands onI fell in love with Charles de Lint s Forests of the Heart early on and after reading of his works decided to go for Terri Windling next hoping for something similar in terms of both the mythic themes and the love of the desert I was also interested in how much if any Windling s and de Lint s friendship may have influenced their writings There are may common elements between the two authors The Wood Wife to some extent shares the same idea of consent reality found in de Lints books and the idea of paintings creating bodies for spirits found in de Lint s Memory and Dream seems to be taken directly from this book Also the obvious love for the desert is common between the two authors as is the discontent with the urbanization of it However where the two authors diverge is their writing style Windling is much straightforward and much less lyrical than de Lint However she tends to describe things to a much greater extent especially the lightingWhen reading de Lint I always got an impression of poetry even though his works are strictly prose With The Wood Wife my impression despite the embedded poetry sprinkled throughout was of light There were many times while reading this book that I looked up from it to the set of paintings of desert sunsets I have hanging on my wall She makes me want to go to the desert just for a while despite the fact that I ve never been that far west in my life I read this book once a Jewish Women Speak About Jewish Matters year and get something new out of it each time For example this pastear I was pregnant became a new mother so I was particularly drawn to the stories of Anna Naverra her paintings like my poetry being her children Maria Rosa Fox s mother this time I often buy multiple copies to pass out to friends family even random strangers on the plane I so wanted to rate this book highly and I thought I would until I passed the half way point and then as others have said it just fell apart Unfortunately the characters are probably the weakest aspect of this book We are told who they are not shown If the author has to tell ou that her main character is special then she probably isn t Maggie is distant flat contrived smug conceited and pretentious The other characters are also two dimensional They all seem to be types rather than fully fleshed characters and they all have at least one uirk that is meant to stand for character development Particularly off putting is the constant repetition about how much special intuitive and aware artists of all types are than the rest of us poor slobs That might not have been uite so irritating if the poetry presented as evidence of that particular insight had been than mediocre It was a mistake to include genuinely superb poetry by Neruda and others in the text it only made the by Neruda and others in the text it only made the s work that much worse by comparison We don t see the paintings or hear the music so we just have to take the author s word for it that it is superb And es I get the message about art consuming the artist I just happen to agree with Katherine PatersonThe supernatural beings simply do not work Why set a work in the desert Southwest if The TV Writer's Workbook: A Creative Approach To Television Scripts you want to use Celtic mythological characters Andes I do want to use Celtic mythological characters And es I do it that the author is trying to demonstrate that we shape the supernatural world with our own preconceptions But the results in this case are not well constructed they are not natural to the place Gaiman does the same thing in American Gods and does it so much better and authentically If we create the supernatural then why would Maggie Black who has never been to the desert Southwest or read anything of its mythology create beings which are an unholy union of Dine Hopi and Celtic mythology The plot begins uite slowly I nearly union of Dine Hopi and Celtic mythology The plot begins uite slowly I nearly at about 100 pages as nothing interesting had happened We are introduced to Maggie s ex husband who simply can t let go of her although I couldn t for the life of me figure out why We learn that she had been a poet but put all that aside for love of him and or less prostituted her talent as a magazine writer to support him in his uest to found an early music group It of course is now the top group and he s exceedingly wealthy YAWN It s never uite clear why she left him he d been cheating on her for all that time why leave when he finally has some money When she arrives in Tucson things start to pick up but she is insensitive to the magic around her because she abandoned her gift we know this because the best name she can come up with for the Rabbit Girl is Thumper Really Why not Fluffy I might have bought that if it weren t blatantly obvious to me a poor slob of a non artist what was going on The magic moments are uite promising and I found myself unable to put the book down for another hundred pages or so even though I was irritated every time Maggie appearedAnd then things came to a screeching halt as we have to delve into the inner workings of three couples The writing becomes even explicit and redundant No emotion is so small that it cannot be described in detail We sit through an interminable night at. Leaving behind her fashionable West Coast life Maggie Black comes to the Southwestern desert to pursue her passion and her dream Her mentor the acclaimed poet Davis Cooper has mysteriously died in the canyons east of Tucson beueathing her his The Wood Wife