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Newford 11 - The Onion Girl by Charles de…

Newford 11 - The Onion Girl (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Charles de Lint

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1,519374,862 (4.01)1 / 62
Title:Newford 11 - The Onion Girl
Authors:Charles de Lint
Info:Tor Books (2002), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library, Audiobooks, 2012
Tags:Urban Fantasy

Work details

The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint (2001)

Recently added byTommyElf, Wicker, private library, bookaholic, anstonde, Darcy-Conroy, MizPurplest
  1. 10
    Dreams Underfoot: The Newford Collection by Charles de Lint (weeksj10)
    weeksj10: Onion Girl is an awesome story, but I would suggest you read this collection of short stories before reading the novel, because there are tons of references to Dreams Underfoot that you won't understand if you go straight to Onion Girl
  2. 10
    Widdershins by Charles de Lint (Kerian)

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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
I found this entry in the Newford series a bit hard to take at times as it dealt with adult survivors of childhood abuse. At the heart of the novel is the difficulty abuse victims have in coming to terms with what happened to them, regardless of how well they might appear to be doing from the outside. ( )
  leslie.98 | Sep 9, 2015 |
I stumbled onto this book by accident and read it before I started the rest of the Newford series. I recommend reading these books in order so that you know what's going on, as The Onion Girl makes many references to previous works in the Newford series. That being said, the book is so well-written that it didn't bother me that I didn't always get the references. It is beautiful, a sort of novelized daydream experience, the likes of which are hard to find. Also, as a twenty-something who grew up on fantasy, I loved the idea of adults still having a fantasy world to look forward to, as the Newford series is all-inclusive and makes being a grownup feel just as magical as being a kid. ( )
  WritingHaiku | Jul 28, 2015 |
Note – deals with themes of child abuse and molestation. Know this going in.

For whatever reason, this one didn’t connect with me. I don’t have any specific reasons why. If I had to guess, I’d say maybe I prefer an external plot to an internal one? It also felt like while a lot was being built up, the action never really materialized.

The Onion Girl was my first book by Charles De Lint. I’ve read short stories by him which I’ve enjoyed, and I’ve been tangentially aware that he’s got a fantasy series of stories and books set in a city called Newford and a connecting dream land, but I’ve never actually read any before now. For those interested, I think you could pick up The Onion Girl without having read any of the other books. I completely understood the plot, although at times I could tell that there were references to other characters and stories that I hadn’t read.

I picked up The Onion Girl after ditching a badly written book. I wanted some good writing, and I thought Charles De Lint would carry through. He certainly did. The best quality of The Onion Girl is the writing by far. It’s excellently written and at times gorgeous, which is probably why I liked the setting as much as I did. Towering cathedral forests? Count me in.

But just as I never connected with the book as a whole, I never connected with the characters, which is essential for me to like a book. I felt like I should have liked Jilly. She’s an artist who’s still recovering from a terrible childhood but is always determined to stay as cheerful as she can and help other people. Possibly she was just too wonderful and artsy? Some of the characters in the book did faintly remind me of a few of the wackier art teachers that I’ve had.

I would suggest The Onion Girl, even though I didn’t like it personally. I don’t think there’s any over whelming flaws with the book itself, so if it interests you and you’re looking for lyrically written, dream like urban fantasy, you should consider giving it (or presumably one of the other Newford books) a try.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Sep 27, 2014 |
Jilly Coppercorn is an irrepressible bright spirit. Her friends are so enlivened by her life, they can't imagine she would have any enemies. Then she was struck in a hit-and-run and put in the hospital. The darkness of her past caught up with her present.

This is the first story I've read that was set in Newford, a fictional Canadian city. According to a list on LibraryThing, ten stories precede this one in the series. While the relational dynamics of Jilly's posse quickly become evident, it would have been a much richer experience to have first read some of the earlier stories to better grasp the group situations.

There is much to laud in this novel. The "dreamworld" structure led to many interesting plot opportunities. It reminded me of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time world structure. Furthermore, the characters were realistic and behaved like real people. The overarching message of the story is important: dealing with your past and bringing that healing into your present.

My struggle with the book might seem a bit ironic, given my profession as a preacher. The moralistic message of the book felt too preachy. The beautiful message lost most of its subtlety and impact when the characters mused on it in detail.

All said, this was an interesting story to read. ( )
  StephenBarkley | Aug 30, 2014 |
It is 1999. Jilly was hit by a car in a hit and run and is in the hospital for rehabilitation. She has discovered that she can cross into another world, what she calls "The Dreamlands", in her dreams and wants to spend all her time there instead of the world "as it is". In a parallel story, that begins in the late 60s, Raylene is a teenager in a very dysfunctional family. When she is old enough, she leaves with her best friend, Pinky.

I like that this book brings back some of the characters from Memory and Dream. (Jilly was also a supporting character in that book.) The book also backtracks to look at Jilly's younger life. I liked every aspect of the book except what happens in the Dreamlands, which I found mostly boring, at least at first, and occasionally throughout the rest. The narrator of the audio did a really good job of Raylene's "hillbilly" accent. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jul 8, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles de Lintprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dringenberg, Mikesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windling, TerriEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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They (fairy tales) make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.
--G.K. Chesterton, from Orthodoxy
It was you, it was you, who said that dreams come true
And it was you, it was you, who said that mine would, too
And it was you who said that all I had to do was to believe
But when your ivory towers tumbled down, they tumbled down on me
--Fred Eaglesmith, from "It Was You"
It's the family you choose that counts.
--Andrew Vachss
for all of those who against all odds made the right choice
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765303817, Paperback)

In novel after novel, and story after story, Charles de Lint has brought an entire imaginary North American city to vivid life. Newford: where magic lights dark streets; where myths walk clothed in modern shapes; where a broad cast of extraordinary and affecting people work to keep the whole world turning.

At the center of all the entwined lives in Newford stands a young artist named Jilly Coppercorn, with her tangled hair, her paint-splattered jeans, a smile perpetually on her lips--Jilly, whose paintings capture the hidden beings that dwell in the city's shadows. Now, at last, de Lint tells Jilly's own story...for behind the painter's fey charm lies a dark secret and a past she's labored to forget. And that past is coming to claim her now.

"I'm the onion girl," Jilly Coppercorn says. "Pull back the layers of my life, and you won't find anything at the core. Just a broken child. A hollow girl." She's very, very good at running. But life has just forced Jilly to stop.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:21 -0400)

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"Charles de Lint has brought an entire imaginary North American city to vivid life, Newford: where magic lights dark streets; where myths walk clothed in modern shapes; where humans and older beings must work to keep the whole world turning." "He has peopled this city with extraordinary characters - people like Joseph Crazy Dog, also known as Bones, the trickster who walks in two worlds at once; Sophie, born with magic in the blood, whose boyfriend dwells in the otherworld of dreams; Angel, who runs a center for street people and lives up to her name; Geordie, creating enchantment with his fiddle; Christy, collecting stories in the streets; the Crow Girls, wild and elusive; and many, many more." "At the center of these entwined lives stands a young artist named Jilly Coppercorn, whose paintings capture the hidden beings that dwell in Newford's shadows. Jilly has been a central part of the street scene since de Lint's very first stories. With her tangled hair, her paint-splattered jeans, a smile perpetually on her lips, she's darted in and out of the Newford tales. Now, at last, we have Jilly's own story, and it's a powerful one indeed...for behind the painter's fey charm there's a dark secret, and a past she's labored to forget. And that past is coming to claim her now, threatening all she loves." ""I'm the onion girl, " Jilly Coppercorn says. "Pull back the layers of my life, and you won't find anything at the core. Just a broken child. A hollow girl." She's run from the past and the truth for so long. She's very good at running. But life has just forced Jilly to stop."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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