Recommended Reading: The Wood Wife

My blog title is actually inspired mostly by one of my favorite novels of all time–Terri Windling’s The Wood Wife.

The Wood Wife, set in the Rincon Mountains of Arizona, tells the story of lapsed poet Maggie Black, who comes to the desert when she inherits the home of a long-distance friend and mentor who has died under mysterious circumstances. As she tries to unravel the mystery of his life and death, she finds herself enchanted by the desert he called home, forms friendships with the charming and sometimes eccentric residents of the mountain, and encounters the spirits of the land–tricksters, mages, and shapeshifters.

I love this book so much that it’s hard to know what to say about it without sounding like a complete idiot. I could tell you it’s a story about knowing your true self. I could tell you it’s about the conflict between passion and practicality. I could tell you it’s about how you can’t run from yourself, about how what you carry inside yourself determines what you meet outside yourself, about how you can run from love but it isn’t much fun, about how sacrificing your dreams for someone else is a sure road to a breakup, about art and poetry and music and love and the spirit of place and the courage it takes to walk in to the mystery. And all those things would be true.

But what you really need to know is that I loved it, and it’s delightful, and you should go read it right now and then thank me for telling you about it.

If you want to read some rather more intelligent, well-organized thoughts about the novel, you can read the excellent article by Niko Silvester:  Madness, Shapechanging and Art in Terri Windling’s The Wood Wife.

Also, I am completely in love with Johnny Foxxe. I’m just sayin’.


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