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Promises to Keep by Charles de Lint
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Promises to Keep (2007)

by Charles de Lint

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Newford Stories (20)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Jilly, one of the most popular and enduring characters is the centerpiece of this novella. The narrative is split between a typical urban fantasy plotline, and flashbacks to Jilly's struggle to reclaim her life from the difficulties of her past.

Unfortunately, the curtailed length of the novella prevents either of these storylines from ever reaching full potential. The flashbacks felt like connecting the dots, filling in the last remaining gaps in our knowledge of Jilly's life between her childhood and her fully formed adult persona. There isn't much of an arc for her here, or rather, the arc we get is too big to be supported by the short scenes that present it.

The other plotline was stronger, and is quintessential Charles de Lint. Unfortunately, most of the atmosphere he created was squandered at the end by a consequence-free, deus ex machina ending.

I would not recommend that a new reader start Charles de Lint here. But I enjoyed it as one last chance to visit a favorite character, which is always welcome. ( )
  shabacus | May 23, 2014 |
This is Charles de Lint.

Promises to Keep is a novella about everyone's favorite Newford artist, Jilly Coppercorn. But this time we're seeing Jilly when she's fresh off the streets and getting started as a student at Butler University. The transition isn't easy, especially when Jilly's best friend from her street days shows up with an offer Jilly finds hard to refuse.

Apparently this started out as a short story about Jilly, but it grew into this little book. I devoured it in a few hours.

I really enjoyed it. I liked seeing Jilly when she was so young and just learning to be "relentlessly cheerful" and how to open up and make new friends. I also liked reading about Jilly's first meetings with Geordie, Sophie, and Wendy.

If you like Charles de Lint, especially if you like his short stories (this little book does keep the feel of a short story), read this one for sure. If you're just looking for some fantasy that's not too out-of-this world, with some really good characterization as a bonus, read this one. You won't be disappointed. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
De Lint is one of my favorites and I love Jilly just like anyone else who has read the Newford books, so it was nice to get some more background into her life and especially her early days in Newford. I liked seeing how the relationships I have read about in previous books were formed and grew. That being said, I think this was probably my least favorite of any De Lint I have read. My biggest issue was the semi-stream of consciousness narrative that made the characters feel kind of flat. He does this in many of his books, but it just didn't seem to fit here. It almost seemed like he was trying too hard to tie up all the different loose ends from his previous books by explaining them all in this on 190 pg. book. Despite my complaints it was still an entertaining read and I'm glad I got the background, I just had higher expectations for it. ( )
  weeksj10 | Mar 25, 2012 |
Short, but fun and whimsical without ever quite leaving the darkness behind, as all de Lint's books are. ( )
  calmclam | Jan 25, 2012 |
Another Jilly Coppercorn novel. Another short novel, with a nice (if occasionally facile feeling) mix of adorable and dark.
  omnia_mutantur | Nov 30, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles de Lintprimary authorall editionscalculated
Desert Isle Design, LLCCover & interior designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dringenberg, MikeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, MaryAnnAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159606126X, Hardcover)

After Widdershins, I thought I wouldn't write at length about Jilly again. I'd promised one more short story about her for Bill at Subterranean Press, but that would be it. Having left her in a good place at the end of Widdershins, I didn't want to complicate her life yet again, so I planned to set the story earlier in her life, during her first year as a student at Butler University. Except the story grew. I was having too much fun visiting with this younger Jilly, so I asked Bill if I could expand it to a short novel. He agreed, so now I m busily working away on this as-yet-untitled novella. It takes place in 1972 and begins with Jilly getting a surprise visit from an old friend--her only friend--from her runaway days. Interspersed with the main story that leads off from that meeting are flashbacks to pivotal moments in her life: time spent in the Home for Wayward Girls, her life on the street, meeting and working with the Grasso Street Angel, the first time she meets various familiar faces (Geordie, Sophie, etc.), and chronicles how the messed-up street kid she was grew a social conscience, and became the cheerful character we know from later stories. Although the book does deal with some serious subjects, the tone isn't all doom and gloom. And while I hope that those of you familiar with these characters will enjoy this visit with their younger selves, I'm also trying to make it a friendly entry into Newford for new readers. Lastly, I'm delighted to say that Mike Dringenberg--an artist I ve wanted to work with for ages--will be doing the cover. - Charles de Lint

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:19 -0400)

After a childhood of abuse and drug addiction, Jilly Coppercorn is well on her way to being normal as an art school student when she runs into Donna Birch, her only friend from the bad old days, at the start of this appealing urban fantasy set in Newford in 1972. Donna takes Jilly into a realm similar to this world, but where things have a way of working out better. It's almost a paradise, a place where dreams are almost too easily realized, until Jilly realizes that the inhabitants are actually dead, souls whose lives were unfulfilled. She can continue pleasantly enough, but only by abandoning her responsibilities to all the people who helped her back in the living world.… (more)

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