Stephanie's Reviews > Deerskin

Deerskin by Robin McKinley
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Sep 21, 2011

it was amazing
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Read on September 21, 2011

Wow.

I was enthralled by this book immediately. I tore through it only stopping when I had to catch some sleep before an early day the next morning. This book is leisurely, the sentences dense, but somehow this washed over me like poetry. This was a captivating world and I really, really cared about the main character.

Deerskin is a re-telling of the fairy tale Doneyskin, bringing into focus the aspects of the story that have always disturbed me. This is ultimately a novel about recovery from trauma and abuse. It's a grueling read; not because the scenes in question are graphic, but because McKinley evokes Lissar's reactions so well. So much in this book hit me on a visceral level.

The author also shines in the depiction of fairly mundane, every day tasks. Lissar draws power and comfort from herb lore, hunting, and raising puppies. Paragraphs and paragraphs are spent on these pursuits and it was never boring to me. Mckinley is adept at showing the ways in which responsibilities and activity can help one find their strength.

If this novel fails in any aspect, it's in the last few pages. The climactic scene feels rushed and there's barely a denouement to speak of. But that doesn't diminish all that came before and this is still one of the best novels I've read this year.
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Reading Progress

09/21/2011 page 300
78.0% "I love this book. Love love love love."
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