Izzy Copley is a college student majoring in art when she first meets world-famous artist Vincent Rushkin. She feels unworthy when he chooses to startIzzy Copley is a college student majoring in art when she first meets world-famous artist Vincent Rushkin. She feels unworthy when he chooses to start teaching her his secrets.
There's a reason that he's so secretive. He has a nasty temper and he frequently lashes out at Izzy, both verbally and physically. She's so in awe of him that she lets him get away with it. He finally teaches her the real secret to his work. Each painting is like a doorway to another world, allowing the subject of the painting to take physical shape in our world and stroll around on our streets. Izzy is breathless at the thought. She's delighted when she sees figures that previously only existed in her imagination living their lives on the streets of Newford. And then Rushkin shows her exactly how monstrous he can be.
If I'm trying to be objective on this re-read, Memory and Dream is probably 4 to 4.5 stars. But for sheer nostalgia, I'm bumping it up to 5.
This was not my first de Lint book but it was definitely an early one. I was working at my little local library as a high school senior, re-shelving books, when I discovered him. The covers (all three that the library owned anyway) caught my eye so I took one home. I'm pretty sure Spiritwalk was the first. I think this was the second. And I can still see why I've been in love with de Lint's work ever since. A 16-17 year relationship. We're on the record books at this point!
I would consider this to be the first real Newford novel despite the fact that it's technically number five. The initial book, Dreams Underfoot, is a solid start but as a short story collection, it just teased me with wanting more. The next three books are darker than most of de Lint's other work and I consider them outliers. But then comes Memory and Dream.
On this ordered re-read I've undertaken, I am thoroughly enjoying re-visiting my favorite characters when they're so much younger. We've aged together. Crazy to say? Probably. But it feels true. Jilly is only on the fringe of things, as is usual for her, but I love seeing her as a struggling artist/college student painting in Professor Dapple's studio. Geordie barely shows up but he's there, providing the soundtrack in the end. There are a couple of more but my heart really belongs to Jilly and Geordie. I don't recall coming across Cosette in any other books but she reminds me of The Crow Girls and I love her for the association. I love her for herself too though.
Reminiscing aside, this truly is solid, absorbing fantasy. de Lint was one of the first urban fantasy authors and I found him more than ten years before I'd ever heard of the genre. I loved the way that he wove such magical stories into the fabric of what appears to be a generic North American city. For a country girl with no real desire to head to the big city, finding magic on the streets was remarkable. The city is where gangs are and murders and rapes and muggings happen. Yet here are these tales that have so much mystery and wonder in them. Don't get me wrong; there's plenty of darkness too. But it's easy for me to look wide-eyed at the magic and forget the rest.
The appeal of Memory & Dream is the same as it always is for me--the strong cast of characters. Within pages of starting a de Lint book, I feel like I've met new friends or I'm visiting with old ones. Isabelle is not really one of my favorite characters for a couple of reasons, but I still really like her and would like to be in her circle. She spends a little too much time dithering and re-writing events to suit herself but I do completely understand where she's coming from. When she's just being herself, she's intelligent and caring and fun and talented. I want her friends to be my friends. I want to see her paintings and catch a glimpse of her numena out of the corner of my eye. I want to know Cosette and Rosalind and Annie Nin. I want to experience the trustworthy solidness of John Sweetgrass. I want to catch a glimpse of the shy little treeskin, Paddyjack, as he creates his primitive art and music. I want to see leonine Grace in all her rampant beauty. de Lint's descriptions of these fantastic characters fires my imagination. I'm left pondering which figures from paintings I would like to see step out from their canvases. Which characters from books I might call forth and the conversations and fun we might have. That is the magic de Lint calls forth for me with this book. If you want a piece of the magic too, pick this up and give it a try. You won't view art of any kind in the same way ever again....more
This book was amazing. It's not a light, bright, make-you-feel-good novel, but it is a novel that every American should read, along with The Kite RunnThis book was amazing. It's not a light, bright, make-you-feel-good novel, but it is a novel that every American should read, along with The Kite Runner. They both help to give some insight into the world of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
I believe this book was equally as good as The Kite Runner, but I probably enjoyed this one a little more because it is told from the points of view of two women, so it was easier for me to relate to. This is basically the story (written by an Afghan man) of two Afghan women--sort of a Muslim version of Ruth and Naomi--who live through the monarchy, the war with the Soviets, the infighting among the various generals, the Taliban takeover, and finally the American war. I was so emotionally involved in the characters' lives that I caught myself getting angry at the injustice of the way women are treated by the Taliban. I almost never cry in movies or books, but I was so caught off-guard by the contents of the box at the end that I did start tearing up. That was just such a moving little plot point. I highly recommend it to everyone....more
I was surprised that I loved this book. I'm drawn to novels with very strong female characters and Una ranks right up there with them. Don't think ofI was surprised that I loved this book. I'm drawn to novels with very strong female characters and Una ranks right up there with them. Don't think of it as a re-telling of Moby Dick from the wife's point of view. Una is very much her own character and the whole Moby Dick thing doesn't take up a lot of space in this book. It's more about a woman who was way ahead of her time....more
This book literally gave me nightmares. That being said, the subject wasn't necessarily the pedophilia or the murder, it was about the healing processThis book literally gave me nightmares. That being said, the subject wasn't necessarily the pedophilia or the murder, it was about the healing process that everyone involved had to go through. I highly recommend....more
This is just a fantastic book. I'm very choosy about my fantasy. I feel like a lot of fantasy authors just try to come up with a crazy idea and then tThis is just a fantastic book. I'm very choosy about my fantasy. I feel like a lot of fantasy authors just try to come up with a crazy idea and then the actual writing falls by the wayside. Not so with this author. Guy Gavriel Kay is a wonderful writer whose imagery and characterization always suck me in completely. This is my favorite book of his. I fell in love with the characters and felt a little bereft when I finished....more
I grew up living close to my grandparents, who have a small farm. I wouldn't call myself a farm girl, because I didn't have that much to do with it, bI grew up living close to my grandparents, who have a small farm. I wouldn't call myself a farm girl, because I didn't have that much to do with it, but I did help out sometimes. Coming from that background, I really enjoyed this book. Hannah reflects on her life and how things have changed, not always for the better. She's lived long enough to see her family grow away from the farm they were raised on. She hopes for the best for them, but worries about her farm and who's going to take care of it when she's gone. This seems to be what's happening in rural communities. The people are leaving and not really coming back. Instead, big, expensive gated communities are being built by people who generally have no connection with the land. Hannah's worried about it, and maybe we all should be....more
This is really a very enjoyable adult fairy tale. If you're looking to recapture the magic you felt when you read your first fairy tale as a child, IThis is really a very enjoyable adult fairy tale. If you're looking to recapture the magic you felt when you read your first fairy tale as a child, I would recommend this book....more
This is one of my favorite books ever, in large part because Leif Enger's writing is so beautiful. I fell in love with the characters and something inThis is one of my favorite books ever, in large part because Leif Enger's writing is so beautiful. I fell in love with the characters and something in the story really spoke to me. I highly recommend it....more