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Child of a Rainless Year
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Child of a Rainless Year

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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  374 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Middle-aged Mira Fenn knows she has an uncomfortably exotic past. As a small girl, she lived in a ornate old house in tiny Las Vegas, New Mexico, tended by oddly silent servant women and ruled by her coldly flamboyant mother Colette. When Mira was nine, Colette went on one of her unexplained trips, only this time she never returned.

Placed with foster parents, Mira was rais...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 28th 2005 by Tor Books (first published 2005)
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Karen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly
Jan 04, 2010 Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Terri Windling's The Wood Wife
Mira Bogatyr Fenn is fifty-one and unfulfilled, having sublimated her artistic talents for reasons she doesn't quite understand. Her adoptive parents pass away, and Mira finds herself drawn to the Victorian house she inherited from her long-missing birth mother, and realizes there's more to her mother's disappearance than she ever suspected as a child.

In Child of a Rainless Year, Jane Lindskold leads the reader into the mystery slowly, letting the weirdness accumulate until Mira can no longer de...more
Angela
This book started off with a bang and really grabbed me. Itbegins with a 9 year old girl living in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Her mother disappears and she is brought to Ohio to live with foster parents under mysterious circumstances. When the story was about her childhood and teenage years it was interesting but once she was in her 50's and went back to Las Vegas to find out what happened to her mother it got very strange.
The book just dragged for about 200 pages. The best parts were the beginning...more
Meredith Galman
An extremely interesting premise, marred by uneven pacing, clunky dialog, and spotty continuity. The heroine takes an unconscionable amount of time to ask the most basic questions. The character who emerges most clearly is Maybelle Fenn, who's dead.
Joyce
So the good - great to see fantasy that is not tired Celtic mythology rehashed or the annoying current Vampire craze which seems to be 90% of what passes for fantasy these days.

The disappointing - the story was a wee bit of a letdown.

I really have enjoyed other books by Jane Lindskold. I enjoyed this one too, but not as much as some of the others. It pulled me in at first, and I liked Mira. I think it could have been edited down in some parts. I wish we'd seen more through Maybelle's eyes too as...more
Miki Garrison
Jul 14, 2009 Miki Garrison rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Artists, and fantasy folks who dig regional history
Shelves: my-faves, favorites
It's hard to believe that it took me so long to come across it, but Jane Lindskold's Child of a Rainless Year is the best new book I've read in a long time. I'd read some of her short stories here and there, but none of her novels had jumped out at me from the bookshelf until now.

I'm struggling to put into words exactly what it is that makes the book such a great read. A good part of it is the pacing, I think, as well as just the right balance (for me, at least) between between description and a...more
Jeannen
I first saw this book at Queen Anne Books the day I went there to buy “Through the children’s gate”. I already had three books picked out so I didn’t buy this one; I wouldn’t have regretted it if I had. This one I read while I was home sick, and it drew me in so much that I think I read it in one day. The story is told in the first person, which I don’t often like, but I was drawn in immediately. This is a fantasy book – there’s magic in it, centered around an old house in a small town in New Me...more
Betty Newell
Jan 20, 2014 Betty Newell rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mystery and time travel
This book dealt with liminal spaces and time travel. A 9 year old girl, Mira, is left orphaned when her mother disappears suddenly with no trace. She grows up with foster parents who know very little of her background. The trustees of her mother's estate are very secretive about her heritage. With the loss of her foster parents, Mira returns to her roots and discovers the mysteries and talents of her family. This is an intriguing story that does seem to drag at times, but keeps the reader intere...more
Jillian
A fun urban fantasy novel with an intriguing concept. The narrator, mid-50 year-old Mira, is not the usual protagonist for a fantasy novel, but that fact alone makes her story intriguing. Starting from her childhood, Mira talks about her seemingly ordinary life, albeit with a few mysterious twists. The entire plot of the story moves fairly slowly until the last fifty or so pages, but I believe it is all the better for the story. By the time everything is explained with the main mystery of the di...more
Liriel27
I liked the inclusion of the ideas about liminal space in the magic system of the book, but there were a few loose ends in the plot that are bugging me. Also, the author's research was clearly extensive - but perhaps the readers didn't need as much of it as was included. After a point, I was tempted to just skip the chunks of information in search of the plot.

I was irritated by Mira; her internal dialogue sometimes seems out of character for her backstory/apparent maturity at other times. I did...more
Marya
Jane Lindskold deals with liminalities. For me so many things fall in those in between spaces. Lindsold brings the beauty out in all those in between spaces. The woman who is not yet old, but no longer young. The house that is falling apart but not yet condemmed. hte land that is not Santa Fe, but not Albuquerque. [return][return][return]Lindskold writes the characters to make them real, to make them flawed but never ugly. The landscape is beutiful, the house is beautiful. She captures what it m...more
Amanda
I read this. I remember a lot about the beginning of the book, but cannot for the life of me remember what the stories with the mother, the house, or the ghosts are. So this one was not that memorable I guess.
Paul
This was a wonderful idea with a compelling backstory. This would have garnered four stars if not for the fact that the book was bogged down in so many places with meaningless detail (for example, we are treated to full listings of every single meal the characters eat) and stair-stepping action (Mira arrives at a real estate agent's office. They agree to go out to lunch, but Mira must use the bathroom first). It became quite tedious. Also, a major plot thread is introduced that calls the love in...more
Heather
I actually read this book 5 years ago and I still think of it from time to time, which isn't something I can say about most books I've read. There is something about it that lingers with you.
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
One-sentence summary: Orphan Mira Fenn returns to her native New Mexico after the death of her foster parents, and discovers the house she has inherited holds dark secrets about her birth mother's disappearance.

Why did you get this book?: Requested it via ILL thinking it was something else.

Did you enjoy the book?: Actually, I did. It was far more entertaining that I expected.

Other thoughts?: I'm not sure if I would recommend it -- kind of interesting but also a bit bland. At times I felt like I...more
Maren
This is a bit of a stretch from my usual genre, but I read it on the suggestion of a good friend of mine who has similar tastes in books. While it took awhile to get into - the first hundred pages took a bit for me to get through, and I almost gave up a few times - but I stuck with it, and I'm glad I did. At times kind of weird, and often downright creepy (but in a good way), the book is still an incredibly fascinating read and I highly recommend it for anyone who has ever lived in and fallen in...more
Rachael
Jun 05, 2007 Rachael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: favorites
A beautiful book that quickly became one of my favorites. Set in New Mexico, it's got magical realism, an intriguing mystery, believable and enjoyable characters, history both real and imagined. I love Jane Lindskold's writing and imagination.

When Mira Fenn's adoptive parents die, she returns to New Mexico, to the ornate Victorian house she grew up in and has discovered she inherited. In Mira's search to discover why her mother mysteriously vanished when she was a child, she soon realizes the ho...more
Carla
This was a nice read because it took me from the world of YA literature and kind of threw me into real world with a bit of fantasy mixed in. The book is designed to be a fantasy but that part of it doesn't really come in until the end of the book and it's more like a glance at it instead of a full fledged "this is fantasy" book.

I think it was also refreshing to read from an older protagonist's point of view. I saw her through her own eyes, but it was also good because I could make my own judgmen...more
Hester
What a fantastic book! I should not have liked it; it is a fantasy about subjects that would normally turn me off, liminality and the importance of color. I remember thinking how pompous all the talk about liminality was when I was in English class in high school, and the color business can drive me insane. In addition, I do not immediately identify with fifty year old women who have spent their lives hiding their lights under baskets. But I loved, loved, loved this book. It flew by.
Pioden
"With captivatingly simple eloquence, Lindskold presents Mira's story, culminating in her latter-life discovery that a lifetime fascination with color is the product of her unique heritage. Matter-of-fact, fantastical, and mysterious at the same time, Child of a Rainless Year provokes thought and speculation, drawing us through a threshold into a slightly altered world." That was the blurb I wrote for it to go on a shelf while still working at Schuler, and I still agree with it.
Ms. Jen
Excellent. I found this book when I was looking for a new Mercedes Lackey book at Barnes & Noble and looked down a shelf.

It looked intriguing, so I bought it.

My favorite fiction book that I have read in the last year. New Mexico magic realism meets the the life of a middle aged woman who goes to her hometown to uncover her past. Mira, the heroine, is a very engaging character and the true delight of the book is to watch her bloom in the course of the story.

Kim
Jun 16, 2007 Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of literary fantasy/magic realism
This book is unlike anything else I've read. Mira Fenn attempts to find out the truth about her glamorous but mysterious mother, who disappeared when Mira was nine years old. Mira is an original and intriguing heroine, and Lindskold blends myth and the history of Las Vegas, New Mexico into a colorful tale of art and magic. If you liked Terri Windling's The Woodwife and/or the fiction of Charles de Lint, give this one a try.
Nesannce Coon
I'm not entirely sure how to describe this novel. It takes until about page 130 for something significant to start happening and yet I read the whole book. There is something compelling about the writing, the characters, or the mystery of the novel (or any combination of). The ending is altogether bizarre, sad, and peaceful. I also love the unusual age of the main character. It's a rarity to have a 50 year old protagonist.
Kayt Peck
This book had a fascinating premise ... several actually. I live in the town which serves as the setting, and I am amazed at how Lindskold was able to capture the magical yet sometimes dark atmosphere is this corner of New Mexico. Her characters have great depth, and, even though the message was not overt, I took to heart the message about the nature of soul.
Judi Little
I do not normally read fantasy- but a review of this book caught my attention- with color and kaleidescopes being a major element. WOW.
I carried this book around- One reviewer called it magical realism and I get that. WIth some of the descriptive passages- I had to stop and go look through some of my kaleidescope collection. Definately a good read.
Beverly
This is a well written book with a clever plot twist at the end.
hadashi
the whole book is about liminal spaces, the murky boundaries of where things meet, thresholds, things that exist in both the physical and spiritual planes. i found myself remembering the “rips in the eternal fabric” and my own occasions of seeing a little more – more than i should? or more than i cared to?
Carol Fillmore
Overall, I really enjoyed it although it did introduce some ideas such as liminal space that were difficult to wrap my mind around. The challenging ideas did not detract from the story though. Definitely would recommend this read though I'd suggest reading it slowly as there is a lot to take in:)
Jag
Feb 20, 2010 Jag rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Only giant Lindskold fans
Shelves: fantasy
The last bit of the book is very good. The first 3/4, however, is mostly a dull slog through endless details about the history of such and such place in New Mexico. It's as though Lindskold went through all this research and just had to include it.

3/5 is a very kind score.
Allen Garvin
Excellent contemporary fantasy in NM. Mira returns to her mother's home in Las Vegas, NM, after many years of absence, after her mother's odd disappearance, and soon odd things start happening. A quiet novel, with very good character development. Very engrossing.
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Jane Lindskold is the author of more than twenty published novels, including the six volume Firekeeper Saga (beginning with Through Wolf’s Eyes), Child of a Rainless Year (a contemporary fantasy set in Las Vegas, New Mexico), and The Buried Pyramid (an archeological adventure fantasy set in 1880's Egypt).

Lindskold is also the author of the “Breaking the Wall” series, which begins with Thirteen Orp...more
More about Jane Lindskold...
Through Wolf's Eyes (Firekeeper Saga, #1) Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart (Firekeeper Saga, #2) The Dragon of Despair (Firekeeper Saga, #3) Wolf Captured (Firekeeper Saga, #4) Wolf Hunting (Firekeeper Saga, #5)

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