Noah's Reviews > The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own M... by Catherynne M. Valente
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's review
May 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: books-i-reviewed
Read from April 29 to May 06, 2012

I'm a sucker for travelogues of most any sort, and I count this as one - a fantastical one, along the lines of some of the Narnia tales, Alice in Wonderland, etc. I've heard there's already a follow up book slated for fall of '12, so maybe this will be the next serial blockbuster that kids will line up to buy at midnight and they'll make Hollywood movies of (I could see this in the style of Pan's Labyrinth).

I enjoyed it the book. It was fun, with enough darkness to keep it intriguing. I like travelogues for the promise each new page presents, for the adventures, new characters being met frequently, and not least of all the way that you, along with the main character, see things through traveler's eyes - marvel at the world like you might not if you were stuck at home.

Ultimately there's nothing new here - your standard "child stumbles into an alternate universe and comes of age and has adventures" kind of book - but the lack of newness didn't take anything away.

And here and there were hints of deeper truths, and there was a sense of melancholy underneath. Here's this quote, where the narrator directly addresses the reader as the characters are romping through the land of Autumn:

"But you must try as hard as you can. Squeeze your eyes closed, as tight as you can, and think of all your favorite autumns, crisp and perfect, all bound up together like a stack of cards. That is what it is like, the awful, wonderful brightness of Fairy colors. Try to smell the hard, pale wood sending up sharp, green smoke in the afternoon. To feel the mellow, golden sun on your skin, more gentle and cozier and more golden than even the light of your favorite reading nook at the close of the day."
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message 1: by Raina (new)

Raina Didn't realize you have a special fondness for travelogues. So do I, especially of the nonfiction GN variety. Someday (when I can read something not written for children - aka when I retire), I'll be trolling your GR for recommendations. :)

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