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Stepping from the Shadows by Patricia A.…

Stepping from the Shadows

by Patricia A. McKillip

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I was a bit leery of this book since I just got through reading the disappointing Night Gift but this was absolutely gorgeous.

Stepping from the Shadows is one of McKillip's earliest novels (her first for adults) and is technically not fantasy. But the use of visions/imagination, fantasy imagery and a shadow person make it akin to magical realism in my mind. McKillip even references A Hundred Years of Solitude, so perhaps this resemblance is deliberate.

I'm not entirely happy with the term "shadow person" - that's what it's called on the flyleaf of my edition. But what else could you call it? Imaginary friend? That isn't appropriate. Split Personality? Probably the most accurate, but the least satisfying of them all. It's just so mundane.

However, it does have a couple issues - the biggest being that it's one of the most inscrutable books I've read in a long time. If I hadn't known from the blurb on the jacket that there was a "shadow person" and that she and Francis was the same person, I think it would have taken me a VERY long time to figure out what was going on. Maybe she felt she didn't have to explain events as much to adults and erred on the side of explaining too little?

Despite this, I love McKillip and I loved all the international and pagan imagery, and for me, this was more than worth the effort of figuring out exactly what everything meant. I got this from the library with ILL, but I'll now be hunting for a decent copy for my McKillip collection. ( )
1 vote Melanti | Mar 30, 2013 |
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