Monday, July 19, 2010
Review: The Onion Girl
At my last Book Club, we discussed The Onion Girl by Charles deLint. According to Wikipedia, The Onion Girl is the 12th (of 24) book in de Lint's Newford collection - all books set in an imaginary city where the boundary line between magic and reality is blurred, and generally centered around a large group of friends/acquaintences. At the heart of this group is Jilly Coppercorn and The Onion Girl is her story.
For the most part, my book club all agreed it was an interesting book but not what we expected. Personally, I expected the magic and real life to be more integrated. Other than reading Tarot Cards or catching something strange out of the corner of your eye, magic doesn't happen in the real world. There is a Dream World and the World As It Is and they were very different.
Many characters show up in The Onion Girl from deLint's other Newford books, but it was easy to keep track as he reintroduced them each time. In fact, it got a little repetitive.
I can't say I loved this book, but there was one thing that kept me (and several other members of my book club) riveted to the very end: the character of Raylene. Raylene is Jilly's sister and suffered through much of the same abuse as a child. But where Jilly was rescued from the streets by caring people, Raylene joined forces with her friend Pinky and started on a life of petty crime. She's not a sympathetic character in the normal sense, but she's fascinating and strong-willed.
Buy The Onion Girl on Amazon.