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The Inland Ice: And Other Stories
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0856405965, Paperback)An ancient Irish folktale surrounds the stories in Eilis Ni Dhuibhne's collection The Inland Ice; each story is followed by an excerpt from a tale about a young woman who must pursue her enchanted husband through the wilderness in order to change him back to human form. After reading a few of Dhuibhne's stories, it becomes clear that the unfortunate young woman has a lot in common with her more modern counterparts. What is the price of passion, the author asks, and what is its price? In these stories, passion is often a substitute for something else. Fourteen-year-old Lily, the protagonist of "Lili Marlene," accepts the pathetic pawings of a coworker in lieu of the affection she never received at home; in "Spool of Thread," passion is a lure the character uses to attract the women he eventually murders. In all of Dhuibhne's tales, passion is a treacherous emotion--one that leads its victims to heartache, though it can also make those who survive it stronger and wiser in the end. By the conclusion of "Lili Marlene," Lilly--now a middle-aged woman, has found contentment precisely because she has vanquished passion. But a life without ardor does not necessarily mean one without love: when at last the young woman in the folktale catches her magical husband and changes him back, she finds that she has tired of passion--and of the unhappiness it brings her--and leaves him for a quiet, happy life with a farmer from her own country. The characters in The Inland Ice would probably agree with her decision.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:37 -0400)
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