Customer Reviews for

Widdershins

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
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  • Posted September 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Strong but flawed Newford novel.

    This is the closest de Lint has come to writing a sequel to any of his Newford novels; it takes place two years after the events in The Onion Girl and finishes Jilly's story. Still, it isn't absolutely necessary to have read The Onion Girl first; de Lint does a decent job of catching new readers up.

    As with The Onion Girl, the thing that takes me the most by surprise is that the returning characters hold less interest than the new characters for me. I was involved with Lizzie from her very first chapter as narrator, but it took until mid-way through the book for me to particularly care what was happening with Jilly and Geordie -- even though when they were new characters in the stories in Dreams Underfoot they were two of my favorite characters. Part of it may simply be that I'm tired of de Lint's descriptions of his regular characters -- Jilly is always messy, petite, with masses of tangled hair and a perpetual smile, which is a great description the first time you see it in a short story, but by the time she's been the focus of two novels and appeared in dozens of other stories the description is getting rather hackneyed. The same goes for Geordie, Joe, and Cassie in Widdershins -- I've just heard them described way too many times by now and it's always exactly the same no matter what other character is describing them.

    Still, by halfway through I was invested in all of the characters (with the exception of Galfreya who seemed like a wasted viewpoint), and the story was moving along briskly. Then the other major problem with Widdershins became apparent: de Lint simply had too many moving pieces in this novel. By the halfway point the plot felt poised on the brink of the climax -- buffalo cousins living and dead had massed in between and had brought out the war drums and everyone else was scrambling to find some way to stop it. I could feel the tension permeating the novel -- until that was followed with over 100 pages of jumping from viewpoint to viewpoint to get all the characters who needed to be there in position, which totally wrecked the tension, so that by the time the showdown occurred I was totally taken out of the story. Pacing is commonly a problem with novels that have such large casts of viewpoint characters, and de Lint does not overcome it here.

    Still, despite those two (fairly sizable) issues, I liked Widdershins better than The Onion Girl. It does conclude Jilly's story happily, it introduces us to more cousins (always my favorite parts of de Lint stories), and despite the pacing issues it has more action than The Onion Girl did, more jeopardy for everyone involved, so it feels like a more rounded out novel. Definitely recommended for de Lint fans.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a strong exhilarating stand alone Newford adventure

    After playing the fiddle at a gig in a mall with her band The Knotted Cord, Lizzie Mahone begins to go home but a horde of vicious males dwarfs known as Bogans assault her with an intent to rape her, but she is rescued. Afterward, Lizzie buries a deer that the mean spirited Bogans had killed. Her simple action angers the observing fairies, but the deer's father Walker appreciates her reverent gesture.----- Meanwhile in Newford, Knotted Cord fiddler Geordie Riddell is seeing seer Mother Crone while his best friend artist Jilly Coppercorn, the Broken Girl in a wheelchair since a hit-and-run incident, breaks up with her boyfriend nurse Daniel. Jilly joins the band temporarily while member Siobhan¿s broken wrist heals. However, fairies abduct Jilly and Lizzie taking them to the woodlands 'in-between'. There the two females find themselves trying to prevent a coming species war with ethnic cleansing being the goal on both sides. ----- Though the various races and family trees are complex and difficult to keep track of who¿s who, fans of the series will fully appreciate this strong alternate reality fantasy. North America as always has never been the same since Charles de Lint introduced readers to the Newford chronicles and this tale that uses the relationship between Jilly and Geordie (everyone knows they are attracted to each other except them) as a backdrop adds to the fabulous saga. From start to finish this is a strong exhilarating stand alone (yet adds to the myth) Newford adventure that readers will fully appreciate as Mr. de Lint is at his best escorting the audience down the WIDDERSHINS.------ Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent book!

    This is Charles de Lint at his best. Anyone who has read his Newford collections and formed "relationships" with Jilly, Geordie, Joe, and many others will not be able to put this book down. A first-time reader may not experience the same excitement, but will still enjoy this intriguing book, which stands alone just fine. A fabulous read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008

    Long awaited after the 'Onion Girl'

    It's strongly suggested that you read 'The Onion Girl' first. Otherwise, you won't know what's going on. Widdershins brings in some new characters, and brings back some well loved characters. Most of the time, you'll be fearing for Jilly's life, trapped in her own mind against her childhood fears. I was always left breathless by the end of each chapter. But, the ending will leave you grinning. So, you have that to look forward to. de Lint doesn't lose any magic in 'Widdershins', and weaves a tale just as wonderful as his past novels. But, it gives you a happily ever after, which some times isn't so common with de Lint!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2006

    Wonderful

    To go widdershins is to circle around counter-clockwise. In many fairy tales you must widdershins to gain access to 'the other realm'. For both these reasons It is the perfect title for this magical book, underscoring both levels on which the narrative takes place. On the one hand Widdershins is a love story the story of Jilly and Geordie, who belong together but don't realize it. On the other it is a modern urban fantasy with a fairy court in an shopping mall. de Lint delicately exposes the difficulties of trust, change and insecurity encountered in relationships and oneself and in counterpoint there is the risk of war between native spirits and those who came with the settlers. Both threads entertwine highlighting the difficult necessity of putting the past behind you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2006

    Could not put it down

    I have read so many of his books. I love his writing style it never gets old to me. I thought this book was amazing. It was so wonderful that all the charaters that you read about in his short stories all come together in one novel kinda like what he did in the Onion Girl. It was great read the whole thing in about 4 days. I didn't want it to end!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2006

    Only So-So

    This is definitely not one of his best. I usually love all the Newford books and their wonderful cast of characters, but this one just missed the mark. The dialog and the development of the relationship between Geordie and Jilly was juvenille at best. It seems aimed more at teen readers than adult.

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    Posted January 20, 2011

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