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Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip
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Solstice Wood (2006)

by Patricia A. McKillip

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Winter Rose (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6502422,504 (3.81)55
  1. 21
    The Thread that Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (bmlg)
    bmlg: a strange homecoming, families with dangerous secrets and fantastic powers.
  2. 10
    Winter Rose by Patricia A. McKillip (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Solstice Wood is the modern-day sequel to Winter Rose.
  3. 10
    Little, Big by John Crowley (craso)
  4. 00
    The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope (Marissa_Doyle)
    Marissa_Doyle: Though intended for a younger audience, it shares the house associated with openings to Faery trope.
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» See also 55 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
I'm not sure this was really YA, but it felt YA to me. And, I LOVED IT! It's a bit chick, not sure it would appeal to lots of the guys out there. It's also quite short. So, if you don't mind chick, you like fantasy and fairies and are looking for a short, easy, fun read...this book is for you!! ( )
  Amelia1989 | Jun 10, 2019 |
Solstice Wood follows Winter Rose, set several generations in the future, with the main character being a distant descendant of Rois, who was the main character in Winter Rose. This book almost has the same feel as the first–very much set in nature and has a dreamy, misty sort of atmosphere to it; however, because it’s grounded in present-day I think that it’s a lot easier to buy into right from the beginning than the first one is. Sylvia comes home to go to her grandfather’s funeral and re-discovers the place where she grows up, a place that is haunted by stories of fae and magic and half fae-children.

It’s a story about self-discovery and identity, especially our identity in relation to our ancestors. Sylvia knows that she’s half fae–half of the very type of being that her grandmother tries so hard to protect the town from, and has a hard time with it, because she doesn’t want to cause a disturbance, but has a hard time being comfortable in her grandmother’s home because of it. What Sylvia doesn’t realize is that the town has a lot of other secrets; a guild her grandmother runs that knits and crotchets and sews magic into the town to try to keep the fae out; other people who are just as fae as Sylvia; and those who are in love with fae people and who find ways around the boundaries that are sewn into the town.

It’s an enjoyable book, a bit slow-paced, but a really nice story overall. We get the perspectives of Sylvia, Sylvia’s grandmother, and Sylvia’s cousin. Watching how their stories intertwine into something bigger is a joy to read. I also like how many parallels there are to the first book without being repetitive or redundant. I really like McKillip’s take on the world of fae and how they work/think, and I love how Rois’s experience has completely colored everything the town thinks and believes about the fae. It’s a nice lesson on how one incidence can change an entire town for generations in terms of their beliefs and attitudes.

Because I appreciated it so much in relation to the first one, I’m not sure how enjoyable it would be without reading the first book. While I think the story itself stands on its own, the characters’ journey depends so much on the understanding of Rois’s experiences that I’m not sure how well it would translate.

I enjoyed this book a lot, but like the first one, I don’t think it’s for everyone. It’s a slow and quiet story. If you like fae stories, you would probably enjoy this.

Also posted on Purple People Readers. ( )
  sedelia | Mar 20, 2019 |
One of McKillip's better novels, enjoyable. The heroine revisits her Grandmother's house and discovers the true intent of the women's knitting circle. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Oct 8, 2017 |
Here's my review from June 2007:

"Bookshop owner Sylvia returns to the family home she's avoided since she was a teen. Confronted with her loving family once more, Sylvia begins to realize that her grandmother is much more than she seems--and that the local sewing circle is far more powerful than she ever dreamed. Their stitches protect the human world from encroachment by the faery world. But when Sylvia's cousin is kidnapped by the fey, she is forced to confront her own prejudices. This is a much more grounded book than McKillip's recent work, which I liked."

I rated it four stars at the time, but now I've reread it in 2014 and feel the need to knock my rating down. I didn't realize this was a reread until I got 200 pages in, when it started to feel faintly familiar. I've probably read over a thousand books since I last read this, but it's still not a good sign that I didn't remember pretty much anything from it. The characters each have distinctive hair colors, from ivory to flame to gold, but somehow their POV chapters all blend together. Which is not to say I liked nothing; McKillip has a way with words: Everything made me want to cry. But I couldn't; tears wouldn't come out. It was stuck inside me, this nasty, monsterish feeling, of something so uncomfortable I couldn't stand it, but I couldn't get rid of it, either. All I could do was hunker down around it, feeling it grow and grow as memories collected, and feeling myself turn into a troll, something surly and mean and snarling, my dank skin growing burls and warts, hoping nobody would come near me because my voice would flare out of me like a welder's fire. It's a great description of teen angst and grief, and I love that Tyler's own darkest feelings are his best protection against the feys' glamors and enticements. And I love the fairy-tale logic Sylvia employs, and the ambiguity of the fairy queen's actions. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Sylvia practically ran from her home in rural New York, where she had been raised by her grandparents, the first chance she got, never looking back and always with an excuse as to why she couldn't return. The time for running is over now. Her grandfather has died, and Sylvia has no choice but to return to Lynn Hall, and to the searching eyes of her grandmother. Lynn Hall hides many mysteries, her grandmother keeper of them. Sylvia keeps her own secrets though, holding the answer to a mystery her whole village has been trying to answer since she was born. But now she must face not only the secrets that she and her grandmother hide, but also the dangers lurking in the woods behind Lynn Hall. The dangers that first compelled her to flee to her city of concrete on the other side of the country rather than face them for another day.

Patricia McKillip writes with a beautiful, lyrical quality. Her words have a haunting tone, almost poetic, filled with depth and emotion. She doesn't just write, she paints a picture in prose. I haven't been able to get one such sentence out of my mind. "Then I heard Owen's sonorous voice, quoting Tennyson - From the great deep, to the great deep he goes - and I wanted to wail like a winter wind and sit by myself in a blizzard until I was covered with snow and no one could find me again." The words are filled with such raw emotion, that I couldn't help but feel them, experience them myself. I wish I could better express how highly I think of her ability to compose words into something greater than a simple story. It's entirely understandable why she has won several awards, including the 1997 Mythopoeic Award for this novel.

Beyond her impressive skill at setting pen to paper, McKillip has created a very enjoyable modern day fairy tale. I'm always fascinated by any fairy tale, be it old or new. I'm particularly impressed that she took a more traditionalist approach to it. McKillip's fairies aren't the cute little creatures with wings like Disney's Tinkerbell. Instead she has drawn upon history, sketching us a portrait of them that ancient people would recognize. One in which faires are dark and dangerous creatures who are for more likely to lure a child into the woods and replace them with a changeling than sprinkle you with pixie dust so that you can follow the second star on the right.

This wasn't an overly long novel at 277 pages. Normally when I read novels of this length, I find myself wanting more. I admit that I'm a sucker for long novels, wordy and descriptive. This time I have to say I don't feel shortchanged at all. The length was perfect. The writing beautiful. The story enchanting. I can't ask for much more than that. ( )
1 vote Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia A. McKillipprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blythe, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And every turn led us here.
Back into these small rooms.
—Winter Rose
Dedication
For Kate, my other sister
First words
Gram called at five in the morning.
Quotations
I sent the tears back in a hot wave towards my heart, where love and grief tangled so tightly you couldn’t even separate a single thread to begin to unravel them.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Summoned home for her grandfather's funeral, Sylvia Lynn arrives with the intention of leaving as soon as possible. Once there, however, she feels the treacherous pull of the old house, the shadowy forest around it and the otherworldly beings who live there. Sylvia's grandmother introduces her to the Fiber Guild, women who meet once a month to sew the magical barriers that protect Lynn Hall from the fay, "a cold, loveless, dangerous people." But the hall's protective magic has weakened, leaving Sylvia-both mortal and faery herself-vulnerable as "the bridge across the boundaries" between the two worlds. Can generations of mistrust and long-hoarded secrets yield to a truce, let alone a new understanding and even trust between faery and human? Though McKillip has traded her usual lyrical style for a sparser approach, she doesn't stint on characterization, mood or mystery in this multilayered tale.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441014658, Paperback)

The World Fantasy Award-winning author's foray into the modern world-now in paperback.

No stranger to the realms of myth and magic, World Fantasy Award-winning author Patricia A. McKillip presents her first contemporary fantasy in many years-a tale of the tangled lives mere mortals lead, when they turn their eyes from the beauty and mystery that lie just outside of the everyday...

When bookstore owner Sylvia Lynn returns to her childhood home in upstate New York, she meets the Fiber Guild-a group of local women who meet to knit, embroider, and sew-and learns why her grandmother watches her so closely. A primitive power exists in the forest, a force the Fiber Guild seeks to bind in its stitches and weavings. And Sylvia is no stranger to the woods

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:13 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"When bookstore owner Sylvia Lynn hears her grandmother's voice on the phone, she knows she must finally return to her childhood home in upstate New York. Her beloved grandfather has died, and though she has put a country between her and the past, the time has come for Sylvia to face the grandmother who raised her and the woods which so beguiled - and frightened - her." "Though Lynn Hall is nearly ramshackle, Sylvia's grandmother is just as spry as ever. There is no escaping her scrutiny - and Sylvia has something to hide. But it's not until she meets the Fiber Guild - a group of local women who meet to knit, embroider, and sew - that Sylvia learns why her grandmother watches her. A primitive power exists in the forest, a force the Fiber Guild seeks to bind in its stitches and weavings. And Sylvia is no stranger to the woods."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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